The Mount of Olives, located near Jerusalem, is a must see during a trip to the Holy Land. After all, it is in this place that it is assumed that Jesus Christ was arrested, to later be judged and die on the cross. That is, the sacred character of this place is the great reason for your visit.
Why Mount of Olives?View of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives
If you travel to Jerusalem, you will surely visit the Mount of Olives. And of course, upon discovering the site, you immediately understand the reason for its place name. Numerous olive trees are contemplated on its slopes, a fairly common species in the Kidrón valley where it is located.
There are also olive trees in another of the key places of the Gospel stories. We speak of the Garden of Gethsemane, integrated into the slopes of this hill. This last area is delimited by a fence.
Here We try to save what the area might have looked like at the beginning of our era, when the episodes of the Gospels occurred. That is why Franciscan parents take care of their care, a work they have been doing since the 17th century.
What does Gethsemane mean?Mount of Olives
This place name originates in the Aramaic language. That origin is Gath-Smane, whose translation is none other than oil press. That is In addition to olive trees, here there would be an oil mill to be able to grind its fruits and extract the oil.
In the time of the Crusades, when European knights went to the Holy Land to free her from the unfaithful domain, an interesting discovery was made. In the vicinity of the mythical garden of the Mount of Olivesthe cave of Gethsemane was found.
At that time it was used to pray and to bury rich people. That same cave would also be delivered to the Franciscans. However, several archeological campaigns were carried out in the last century. Thanks to them the remains of the oil press that give name to this place have been discovered loaded with legend.
Jewish cemetery of the Mount of OlivesJewish cemetery- jbdodane / Flcikr.com
As well for the Hebrews the Mount of Olives is a sacred space, since according to their beliefs that will be the precise place in which God begins to redeem the dead.
For that reason, many of them have wanted to be buried in it, especially rabbis. Here are thousands of graves since the 15th century. Although, the cemetery has suffered numerous damages in the successive war conflicts that have occurred in this area of the planet.
The basilica of the nationsBasilica of the Nations- Kyle Tyler / Flickr.com
There are different temples in these places. Among them, there is one located at the base of the Mount of Olives. It is the basilica of the Nations, another space linked to one of the key characters of Christianity. Tradition tells that the Virgin was buried here. And it is also said that Jesus prayed in the place before being arrested.
This basilica It is also known as the sanctuary of Gethsemane. It is located between the road that leads to the city of Jericho and the mythical stairs that ascend to the top of the Mount of Olives.
More biblical stories on the Mount of Olives
If you are a believer, you will love the visit to this area of Jerusalem. Not only because of the wonderful views it offers over the Old City. Also because it is a space in which many events of the last days of Jesus are evoked.
Here he "stayed" after his arrival in Jerusalem. And knowing the end that awaited him, he would encourage the apostles to fulfill their designs after his death. And equally, there is a most endearing episode in the Gospels, when it is described as Jesus cried for the city of Jerusalem.
In short, that on the Mount of Olives you always breathe a special atmosphere, loaded with religious and sacred feelings. Even non-believing travelers describe the visit in this way.