The Mount of Olives, located in the vicinity of Jerusalem, is a must-see during a trip to the Holy Land. After all, it is in this place that Jesus Christ is supposed to have been arrested, to later be tried and die on the cross. In other words, the sacred character of this place is the great reason for visiting it.
Why Mount of Olives?
If you travel to Jerusalem, you will surely visit the Mount of Olives. And of course, when discovering the site, the reason for its place name is immediately understood. Numerous olive trees can be seen on its slopesa fairly common species in the Kidrón valley where it is located.
There are also olive trees in another of the key places in the Gospel accounts. We are talking about the Garden of Gethsemane, built into the foothills of this hill. This last area is delimited by a fence.
Here an attempt is made to preserve the appearance that the area could have had at the beginning of our era, when the episodes of the Gospels happened. That is why the Franciscan fathers take care of it, a task they have carried out since the 17th century.
What does Gethsemane mean?
This toponym originates from 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 their fruits and extract the oil.
At the time of the Crusades, when European knights went to the Holy Land to free it from infidel rule, an interesting discovery was made. In the vicinity of the mythical orchard of the Mount of Olives Gethsemane grotto found.
At that time it was used to pray and to bury rich people. That same cave would also be given to the Franciscans. However, in the past 20th century several archaeological campaigns were carried out. Thanks to them the remains of the oil press that gives this place its name have been discovered loaded with legend.
Mount of Olives Jewish Cemetery
Also For the Hebrews, the Mount of Olives is a sacred space.since according to their beliefs that will be the precise place where God begins to redeem the dead.
For that reason, many of them have wanted to be buried in it, especially rabbis. There are thousands of tombs here from the 15th century. Although, the cemetery has suffered numerous damages in the successive warlike conflicts that have occurred in this area of the planet.
The Basilica of the Nations
In these places there are different temples. 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 figures of Christianity. Tradition has it that the Virgin was buried here. And it is also said that Jesus prayed on the spot before being arrested.
this basilica It is also known as the Gethsemane sanctuary. 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 a visit to this area of Jerusalem. Not only for 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 carry out his designs after his death. And likewise, there is a most endearing episode in the Gospels, when describes how Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem.
Ultimately, what On the Mount of Olives there is always a special atmosphere, charged with religious and sacred sentiments. Even non-believing travelers describe the visit this way.