For many thousands of years, people from different ancient civilizations, cultures and nations have come to Israel, a small country in the Middle East. Known as "the Promised Land" for the Jewish people, Israel is also home to people of other religions and a great number of buildings and sights important to them.
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Jaffa is the oldest part of the modern city of Tel Aviv. An ancient myth suggests that this old port city got its name after Yafet, one of the sons of Noah, who saved animals and humans from a large flood.
The place has been used as a strategically important harbor for thousands of years. Walking around the Old Jaffa today, you will see all these different layers of history.
The Clock Square stands in the middle of Jaffa, with its distinctive clock tower built in 1906. Another interesting sight is the Andromeda rock, the rock where, according to mythology, Greek goddess Andromeda was chained as a sacrifice before she was saved. Nearby, there is the Al-Bahr Mosque, or the Sea Mosque, a small tower overlooking the harbor, historically used by fishermen and sailors.
Just outside Jerusalem's Old City lies the Mount of Olives, named after the olive groves that used to cover its slopes. The mountain is filled with sites that are important for several religious groups.
It has hosted a Jewish cemetery for at least 3,000 years. A couple of ancient monumental tombs can be found in the Kidron Valley which lies beneath the mount. Christians believe that this is also where Jesus Christ, the son of God, ascended to heaven, which is why it is a major site of pilgrimage.
The largest church that rises on the mountain is the Church of Mary Magdalene, built by a Russian Tsar (ruler) in 1886, noticeable for its gilded roofs.
Also known as Kinneret, the Sea of Galilee is the largest freshwater lake in Israel. The lake is actually located some 200 meters below sea level, which makes it the lowest freshwater lake in the world.
The Sea of Galilee was historically very important because it was on the Via Maris, an ancient route which connected Egypt with the empires in the North.
Nowadays, tourists are drawn to this lake for two major reasons. Firstly, Jesus is believed to have taught and performed many of his miracles in the areas around the lake, so Christians frequently visit there.
Secondly, Israelis and tourists come to the lake to take part in different water activities, such as the building of rafts event, or the Kinneret Crossing, a popular open water swim race.
In Hebrew, rosh means "head" and hanikra means "of the caves", which explains what this amazing rock formation is all about. White cliffs open into amazing caves in this area located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.
Being close to the Israeli border with Lebanon, for centuries Rosh HaNikra was a passage point for traders and armies. While they were building a railroad, the British dug a tunnel thanks to which, all sea caves are now connected to each other.
Years ago, only adventurous swimmers could see this place, but today, visitors can get on the Rosh HaNikra cable car, the steepest one in the world, to take them to the caves.
For all those who cannot find enough time to visit all tourist attractions in Israel, a possible solution could be to go to Mini Israel, a miniature park where hundreds of replicas of famous sights in Israel are located.
Nearly all buildings are built to be 25 times smaller than they are in real life. This means that an average church would be as tall as a child, while a skyscraper might be a little bit taller than an adult.
There is a true variety of miniatures – from important religious and historical buildings, to archaeological sites and some modern structures such as the Supreme Court of Israel.
Figures of people, animals, plants and vehicles are also added to make the miniatures resemble to the originals even more.
See Israel, the Holy Land, Part 2
1. C | 2. A | 3. C | 4. B | 5. C | 6. C | 7. B | 8. C | 9. A | 10. B | 11. A | 12. A | 13. C | 14. C | 15. B | 16. B | 17. A | 18. B | 19. C | 20. A |21. A | 22. A | 23. B | 24. A
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