Noam Chen
Israeli Artist

20+ awe-inspiring pictures showing Jerusalem’s unique complexity

A photo essay capturing unexpected encounters and holy moments in a city where nothing is mundane
Muslim visitors at the Western Wall, Jerusalem.
Muslims visiting the Western Wall, Jerusalem. (courtesy)

As an artist in the field of landscape photography, I have regularly been sharing the stunning landscapes of Israel on my blog here over the years.

Since moving to reside in our capital, Jerusalem, I have found that my focus has shifted from documenting the breathtaking views of Jerusalem to capturing special moments that can only be seen in this majestic place.

The Holy City of Jerusalem is an incomparable hub for a mixture of religions, faiths, and people from all walks of life. While mainstream media often portrays only clashes and disputes, living in this mesmerizing city reveals a whole different reality.

In Jerusalem, almost everyone lives side by side in peace. Although extremists from each side make the headlines, in reality, the vast majority share a life of happiness and demonstrate healthy curiosity toward one another.

I have decided to gather some of my recent photos that captured extraordinary and heartwarming moments, aiming to shine a light on the beautiful and unique complexity of Jerusalem.

These 20+ photos are most likely going to change your perspective on the Holy City!

  1. A Jew and a Christian pray side by side at the Western Wall.
Different faiths, similar prayers. The Western Wall, Jerusalem.
  1. A Muslim couple visiting the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
A Muslim couple visits the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
  1. Religious gay couple holding hands, a sight you won’t see anywhere else in the Middle East.
Unique sight anywhere in the Middle East, gay couple in Jerusalem.

4. Female warriors of Magav (Israeli Border Police) keeping the peace and the smiles in the Old City.

Female warriors, Old City of Jerusalem.
  1. What coexistence in Jerusalem really looks like.
Coexistence in Jerusalem, Old City Market.
  1. A mysterious figure captured walking down the Via Dolorosa.
Jesus, is that you? Via Dolorosa, Jerusalem.
  1. An Ethiopian clergyman at the Monastery of the Sultan.
Ethiopian clergyman, Monastery of the Sultan.
  1. The Little Western Wall, the only section of the Western Wall where men and women can pray together.
Praying together at the Little Western Wall.
  1. Freedom of Religion: Muslim visitors at the Western Wall.
Muslims visiting the Western Wall, Jerusalem.
  1. Jews ascending the Temple Mount.
With Police escort, Jews ascending the Temple Mount.

11. Jerusalem’s doors are open to all religions.

Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Old City of Jerusalem.
  1. Showing healthy curiosity, Jews and Christians in the Old City.
Healthy curiosity towards one another. Palm Sunday in Jerusalem.
  1. Peacefully side by side, a Priest and a Rabbi.
Side by side, a Priest and a Rabbi.
  1. A joint prayer at the stunning underground Synagogue inside the Western Wall Tunnels.
A joint prayer, Western Wall Tunnels.
  1. Activists for the Third Temple, in front of the Great Synagogue of Jerusalem.
Hoping for the rebuilding of the Third Temple.
  1. Magav (Israeli Border Police) soldiers securing the annual Jerusalem Pride Parade.
Securing the Pride Parade, Jerusalem.
  1. A devoted Christian praying at the Western Wall.
A center for all religions, Jerusalem.
  1. A group of Japanese Christian tourists celebrating their pilgrimage to Jerusalem, dancing with local Jewish residents.
Singing and dancing together, Christian tourists and Jewish locals.
  1. A soldier teaching a small child how to play the piano.
Simply living a normal life. Jerusalem’s City Center.

20. A Holocaust survivor celebrating his Bar-Mitzvah for the very first time at the Western Wall.

Bar-Mitzvah ceremony for a Holocaust survivor (shot for the Western Wall Heritage Foundation).

21. A woman’s prayer, overlooking a mass of worshipers by the Kotel.

A breathtaking sight in the Holy City (shot for the Western Wall Heritage Foundation).
  1. Jewish men demonstrating a hopeful and united front, wearing t-shirts that read “United Forever” and “Our Strength is in our Unity”.
United Forever, Jews at the Kotel.
  1. Side by side under the Israeli flag, real life in Jerusalem.
Side by side under the Israeli flag, Jerusalem.

Which moment did you like the most? Let me know in the comments section!

Join my Instagram for a daily dose of pictures from the Holy City of Jerusalem.

To get yourself a piece of Israel in your home, visit my newly opened Art Shop on Etsy.

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About the Author
Noam Chen is an award-winning photography artist. He began his career in Israel, before expanding to work in Europe and later in the United States, where he was granted an Artist Visa for individuals with 'extraordinary ability' by the US Government. Noam's work has been published in newspapers, books and magazines across the world, and exhibited in group and solo exhibitions in Israel, Europe, North and South America. Noam's Fine Art Prints from the Holy Land can now be acquired on Etsy:
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