The Holy Land is a place full of surprises. Within its borders lies a fascinating history, chock-full of stunningly beautiful natural wonders. Whether you’re a first-time visitor, or a veteran of the Land, the places mentioned below are some of the holiest, most renowned sites in all of Israel. Time to strap your luggage down and take the flight over to witness these three incredible places.
With work starting in 1987 and opening to the public in 2001, the Bahá’í Gardens in Haifa and Akko are one of the most visited tourist attractions in Israel. Located on Mount Carmel and covering some 200,000 square feet, these gardens showcase a unique, geometrical design unlike anywhere else in the world. Being the center of the Bahá’í faith, the gardens were awarded its place on the UNESCO World Heritrage List in 2008 for their “outstanding universal value.” Many visitors return multiple times throughout the years to experience the gardens changes throughout the seasons. Between the tranquility and spiritual presence said to be here, most describe it as quite a special place to witness.
This beautiful geological formation located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the Western Galilee is a spectacle unlike most places within the Holy Land. Created by naturally occurring sea movements, these white chalk cliffs host several grottoes equaling in length some 200 meters. This place is well known throughout history, being mentioned within the Book of Joshua, as well as the Book of the Maccabees. Even Josephus Flavius and the old Jewish sages made note of the grottoes, referring to the cliff as “The Ladder of Tyre” , among other names. Once only accessible by the sea and experienced divers in the past, today you can visit the grottoes via cable car.
Garden Of Gethsemane
At the foot of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem lies the Garden of Gethsemane. Most famously known as the place where Jesus prayed and where Judas found Him on the night of His arrest, many visitors come daily to pray at this remarkable site. Mentioned in the Gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, and John (not Luke), the garden is believed to be the place where Mary, the mother of Jesus, was buried.
In recent years, a study was conducted by the National Research Council of Italy in an attempt date the olive trees located within the garden. While five of the eight trees are hollowed out, three of them were not, allowing testing to be done on the three. After DNA tests were conducted, the evidence was concluded that the trees were all planted from the exact same parent plant and that the current trees date as far back as 1092 AD. According to researchers, the five trees that could not be tested could easily date back 2,000 years and be the exact ones Jesus slept under the night before His crucifixion.
While Israel boasts a number of other gardens and grottoes, these three stood out as the most significant places you’ll want to visit while in the Holy Land. No matter what walk of life you come from, these sites have something for everyone and are sure to spark something inside of you that won’t soon be forgotten.