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Jerusalem … and more from the Holy Land … part 2

December 15, 2011

In the never ending “tit for tat” that is Israeli-Arab relations, the recent closure by Israeli officials of the Mugrabi Gate, the passage for non-Muslims to the plaza of the Dome of the Rock, resulted in banning all non-Muslims access to that site … frustrating considering how close everything is in Jerusalem’s Old City … but there is SO MUCH else to see …

Foreground: Mugrabi Gate. Midground: The Western/Wailing Wall. Top: The Dome of the Rock – 12 December 2011
Foreground: Steps leading down to the Western/Wailing Wall. On the right: the Mugrabi Gate, the sole portal for non-Muslims to the plaza of the Dome of the Rock. Left of the Mugrabi Gate, the Western/Wailing Wall – 12 December 2011
The Western/Wailing Wall – Jerusalem – 12 December 2011

To the right of the Mugrabi Gate is the Jerusalem Archaeological Park littered with remnants of the Second Temple Complex, which like much of the rest of the city, was burned and destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.  The ersatz “before and after” below shows an artist’s rendering of the grand staircase that once led to the Second Temple complex, and the image following shows the scant remainder.

Artist’s rendering – staircase of the Second Temple complex – Jerusalem – 11 December 2011
Attached to the wall is a remnant of the vaulting that once supported the upper most portion of the staircase to the Second Temple complex – Jerusalem – 11 December 2011 – The wall (above) is an additional part of the Western/Wailing Wall that extends on the other side of the Mugrabi Gate.
At the base of this wall complex are giant, multi-ton, square shaped stones, which once adorned the Second Temple complex, but were pushed off but the Romans in 70 AD – Jerusalem – 11 December 2011

View of the Jerusalem Archaeological Park – 11 December 2011
View of the Jerusalem Archaeological Park looking toward the Dung Gate – 11 December 2011
Entrance to a mikveh or ritual bath – 11 December 2011
Staircase of a mikveh or ritual bath – 11 December 2011
View of the Jerusalem Archaeological Park looking towards the Mount of Olives – 11 December 2011

Circling the Old CIty of Jerusalem is a wall constructed by Suleiman the Magnificent in 1538 (though some sections of the wall were built on remnants more than 2,000 years old).  The Jaffa Gate is the busiest of the eight gates leading into the Old City …

Jaffa Gate – Jerusalem – 11 December 2011

Fresh bread in an alcove of the Jaffa Gate - 11 December 2011

Several of the hundreds of Nigerian religious pilgrims seen at the Jaffa Gate (and throughout the Old City) – 11 December 2011
Israeli soldiers (most totting machine guns) outside the Jaffa Gate – 11 December 2011

From the Jaffa Gate it’s moments to the bazaar and a completely different world …

Spice merchant - 10 December 2011

Moving goods and making deliveries in these cramped quarters is not easy – 10 December 2011
Sweets – 10 December 2011
Pandémonium de jour – 10 December 2011
Utility meters – 10 December 2011
A little bit of everything
Where else can one find this brand of shoes?

HUMMUS …

Abu Kamel Restaurant ... then ...

Abu Kamel Restaurant ... now ...

Abu Kamel Restaurant … lunch 10 December 2011 … and it was excellent!
After lunch … dive back into the madness …
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