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32 breathtaking photos of Jerusalem that’ll touch your heart and make you wish you were here now

32 breathtaking photos that’ll touch your heart and make you wish you were in Israel's capital now

Spring of 2018 will be remembered as a special time in the history of Israel, and Jerusalem in particular.

On April 19th, the state will mark its 70th Independence Day, a very special and important milestone on its own. Roughly a month later another major event will take place when the US Embassy moves from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, following US President Donald Trump’s historic recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Both events make for an excellent cause for a celebration.

Jerusalem is obviously an exciting bucket-list destination for the general public, but it’s also a heaven for photographers. I’ve always felt very privileged for being able to work extensively in this city, and over the years I was able to document the most fascinating places and capture some very memorable moments.

I figured now would be a wonderful opportunity to share some of my favorite shots from Jerusalem, during these very special times in its modern history.

The photos I have collected will give you a glimpse of Jerusalem during different seasons and occasions, some of which you can’t always witness as a tourist visiting the city. They also show how diverse the Israeli capital is, and how far it has come in preserving its historic heritage, perfectly blending between ancient and modern.

From my perspective, these photos celebrate the amazing spirit of a city like no other in the world. By the time you finish scrolling down, you’ll wish you could be here to celebrate with us!

(Click on photos to enlarge them)

1. Soak in the spirituality, while admiring the views from the Mount of Olives.

rainbow over the old city of jerusalem
A spiritual moment. Overview of the Old City from the Mount of Olives.

2. Damascus Gate, during Jerusalem Day celebrations, marking the reunification of the city.

people celebrating with israeli flags at damascus gate in jerusalem
Celebrating the reunification of Jerusalem, Damascus Gate.

3. Celebrating Israel’s Independence Day at the Tower of David.

fireworks over the tower of david in jerusalem during Israel's independence day
Fireworks and light display, the Tower of David.

4. Even harsh winters and snow storms can’t deter some worshipers from praying at the Western Wall.

man praying at the western wall in jerusalem during a snow storm
Praying during a heavy snow storm, the Western Wall.

5. But winter can make the city resemble some other European capitals.

jerusalem light rail crossing jaffa street on a rainy day
Jaffa Street on a wet winter evening.

6. Some sites, although used during every period in Jerusalem’s history, have opened to the public only very recently.

the kishle at the tower of david in jerusalem israel
Opened only in 2015, the Kishle.

7. People shouldn’t be surprised to see sights of co-existence in the Old City.

a jew and a christian sitting together in the old city of jerusalem israel
A priest and a rabbi, coexistence in Jerusalem.

8. But you will be surprised if you asked for the time in the Moscovia compound of Ein Karem, as they live according to Russia’s time zone.

russian church on the hills of ein karen in jerusalem
The Russian Church of Ein Karem.

9. Another surprise can be this view, which isn’t normally associated with the city.

colorful natural views of the biblical zoo in jerusalem
An unexpected and enchanting view, the Biblical Zoo.

10. Abundance of goods and colors is what everyone expects to see at the Old City Market.

a bountiful and colorful shop at jerusalem's old city market
Anything you can possibly look for, the Old City Market.

11. And even more colorful is the famous Mahane Yehuda Market.

colorful spices at mahane yehuda market in jerusalem
Spices of many colors and smells, Mahane Yehuda.

12. Some places remained the same for 3,000 years, since the time of the First Temple.

ancient tombs carved in rock at kidron valley in jerusalem
Biblical tombs carved in rock, the Kidron Valley.

13. While others are as modern and developed as can be…

many people and the light rail crossing jaffa street in jerusalem
The ever-busy Jaffa Street.

14. And some brilliantly combine both ancient and modern, like the “Journey to Jerusalem” in the Western Wall Tunnels.

ancient underground hall full of modern computer screens
Interactive center at the heart of the Western Wall Tunnels.

15. The city offers even more unlikely views, such as this of the Yemin Moshe neighborhood.

houses and windmill of yemin moshe neighborhood in jerusalem, israel
The landmark windmill dominates the neighborhood of Yemin Moshe.

16. And while this view is very popular, did you know that the Jewish cemetery at the Mount of Olives is the oldest continuously used cemetery in the world?

tombs of the old jewish cemetery on mount of olives, jerusalem
The Old Jewish Cemetery, Mount of Olives.

17. Something you probably do know is that some moments you witness here can stay with you forever.

a child praying with his hand on the western wall in jerusalem
A child’s prayer, the Western Wall.

18. An extraordinary time to visit the city is during the holidays of December.

christmas tree and decorations at the YMCA builidng in jerusalem during evening
Christmas Eve at the decorated YMCA building.

19. Whether you’re celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah, all the festivities are just around the corner.

many menorahs lighted at night in a jerusalem neighborhood
Festive atmosphere, Hanukkah at Nachlaot neighborhood.

20. Other uplifting events in the city include the annual Festival of Light, always a feast to the eye.

light installations on damascus gate during the festival of light in jerusalem
Lighting up the ancient sites, Festival of Light in Jerusalem.

21. Which every year highlights the contrast between old and new in the Old City.

a bird-eye view of the old city of jerusalem during dusk
Old vs. new, domes of the Holy City.

22. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre underwent an historic restoration in 2017, during which the Tomb of Jesus was excavated for the very first time.

the tomb of jesus at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in jerusalem
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre after the historic 2017 restoration.

23. One of the city’s most important sites is the world renowned Yad Vashem museum, commemorating the history of the Holocaust.

hall of names at the yad vashem museum in israel
A must for every visitor to the city. The Hall of Names at Yad Vashem.

24. Almost everywhere you look, the rooftops of Jerusalem reveal the diversity of the holy city.

different domes and rooftops in jeruaalem's old city
Rooftops of a Holy City, Jerusalem.

25. Which also has major points of interest that are completely non-religious.

shops and peoople at the decorated mamilla mall in jerusalem at night
Packed with shop, restaurants and people, Mamilla Mall.

26. But whether you’re religious or not, spiritually can be felt almost everywhere across the Israeli capital.

church of mount zion on the backdrop of the judea desert, israel
Mount Zion on the backdrop of the Judean Desert.

27. Where accessibility to the holiest of sites is celebrated every day.

man wearing the flag of israel and raises his hands at the western wall, jerusalem
A moment of gratitude at the Western Wall.

28. There are plenty of majestic views you’ll never get tired of…

wide view of the tower of david museum in jerusalem
Amazing views at the Tower of David.

29. Incredible sunsets to marvel across the hills of Jerusalem.

sunset above the hills of ein karem shining on a church, jerusalem
A sight that warms your heart, sunset in Ein Karem.

30. Magical narrow alleyways to explore, particularly in the Jewish Quarter.

little girl walking up the alleyway at the jewish quarter in jerusalem
Life in the Jewish Quarter, the heart of the Old City.

31. And by the time you’ve seen it all, you’ll understand why all major religions consider this to be the birthplace of the world.

sun rays shining above the old city of jerusalem
Heavenly light, view from the Mount of Olives.

32. Just don’t forget to take your picture with the new I Love    Jerusalem sign!

man sitting on the i love sign in jerusalem street
I Love Jerusalem. Do you?

Which one was your favorite? Let me know in the comments section!

For more of Israel’s amazing landscapes visit my website, or join my social media: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

For feedback and inquiries, email me at: noamc75@gmail.com

About the Author
Noam Chen is a Tel Aviv-based photographer, specializing mostly in Landscape and Portraits. His work has been published in newspapers and magazines across the world, including National Geographic magazine, Entrepreneur, The Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, Le Figaro and more. He has exhibited in group and sole exhibitions in Israel, France and the U.S. Noam works closely with the Tourism and Real Estate industries in Israel, and now offers photography services throughout the U.S as well.
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