In Israel, many historical places are fundamental for Judaism. Among the many places to visit in Israel, the country’s landmarks are full of Jewish history with a very ancient history, which is thousands of years old.
Israel is the house of many stunning museums that are architectural masterpieces, like the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum and the several excavations and archaeological places, which are the cores and institutions testifying Israel’s rich Jewish history.
Israel’s history is so extensive and significant that the only way to understand and learn it is to discover it in place. The most prominent landmarks of Judaica and Jewish history to find out in Israel are:
The Wailing Wall
The Kotel – The Wailing Wall is the most symbolic and holy place in Judaism. In Jerusalem, the Kotel is the first place to be visited and considered the most religious place for the Jewish faith. A delightful walk through the Old City of Jerusalem leads to this sacred site. It is customary to write a wish, a prayer or a personal note on a piece of paper and put it inside the wall’s cracks. The Kotel is the vital centre of one of the most ancient and most unique historical places in the world that is the Old City of Jerusalem.
The Jewish Quarter
The Jewish Quarter is in the southeast area of Jerusalem’s Old City, and it is the place hosting holy sites such as the Western Wall and Temple Mount. Inside of it, there are several remarkable synagogues, such as the Hurva Synagogue and the Four Sephardic Synagogues.
The Tower of David
The Tower of David – The Citadel is a permanent exhibition that displays Jerusalem’s story in unique cultural expositions, projects, and trips.
The Israel Museum
The Israel Museum is Israel’s most magnificent museum, and it is ranked among the world’s foremost art and archaeology museums. This museum hosts wide-ranging collections with finds dating back to prehistory until present-day archaeology, fine art, and Jewish art. The Israel Museum is the best place to learn about the 5,000-year history of Israel.
The Jerusalem Archeological Park
The Jerusalem Archeological Park – Davidson Center combines Jerusalem’s fascinating past with a high-tech virtual reconstruction. This centre is located in the Jerusalem Archaeological Park, and it displays a three-dimensional reconstruction of the Temple, thanks to the information based on excavations and ancient writings.
The Kotel Tunnels
The Kotel Tunnels reveal all their unicity and beauty, and they are hidden segments part of the Western Wall. The area includes underground walkthru passages, old water channels, and streets from the Second Temple period. Several stones were recently dug, revealing captivating mysterious paths. The city of Jerusalem has been built layer by layer, and it is like a living trip through these ways unravels thousands of years of history.
The Temple Institute
The Temple Institute is a centre that makes it feel like a visit back to the period when there was the ancient Holy Temple. After nearly 2,000 years from its construction, there are still holy vessels and garments preserved that were in use in the Temple. These remnants are conserved in the museum together with paintings portraying biblical stories.
The Supreme Court
The Supreme Court was planned by the architect duo Ram and Ada Carmi. This architecture has a lot of elements related to the Bible and the statutes of Jewish thought. The Supreme Court is a stunningly beautiful building with a game of open and closed areas.
The Rockefeller Museum
The Rockefeller Museum is filled with artefacts dating back to the Bronze Age, also hosting a statue that is 9,000-year-old. The Rockefeller Museum contains a very precious collection of antiquities unearthed in the British Mandate period.
The Menachem Begin Heritage Center
The Menachem Begin Heritage Center is situated on the Hinnom Ridge facing Mount Zion and the Old City walls. The Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem is a marvellous estate to visit to understand and get to know something about ancient Jerusalem. The historical centre is an extraordinary and fascinating tourist attraction with an exhibition of multimedia, documentary, and touchscreens. Latterly, archaeological findings have been discovered dating back to the First Temple period, making this building a unique place.
The National Library of Israel
The National Library of Israel hosts the world’s largest collections of Judaica. A library contains copies of all the writings published in Israel and every kind of publication about Israel and Judaism in any language. This place is filled with ancient and rare manuscripts, and it is a paradise for bibliophiles.
In Tel Aviv:
Eretz Israel Museum
Eretz Israel Museum is a unique and unusual place because its terrains include the archaeological site of Tel Qasile, which dates back to the 12th-century B.C.E. This museum hosts a significant permanent collection of coins, mosaics, and Jewish folkloric remnants dating back to different periods and originating from several regions.
Bialik House is the house of Israel’s favourite Hebrew national poet, Haim Nachman Bialik, whose poetry was written in Hebrew. The house is architectural heaven with many elements of the Islamic style. Besides archives of Bialik’s original writings, the home contains ceramic art portraying biblical pictures.
The Beit Hatfutsot
The Beit Hatfutsot or The Museum of the Jewish People hosts paintings, restorations, dioramas, audio-visual exhibitions, documentary films, and interactive multimedia presentations. The Beit Hatfutsot displays the captivating narrative of the Jewish people and the spirit of the Jewish culture, religion, faith, and accomplishments showing the contribution of Judaism and Jewish people to the world.
The Independence Hall
The Independence Hall is in Tel Aviv and it is the place where Israel’s Declaration of Independence was signed on May 14, 1948. Formerly it was well-known as the Dizengoff House, and this museum is a place that is dedicated to the Declaration of Independence and also to Tel Aviv-Jaffa’s history.
Masada is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Israel’s most important sites, and it was built in 30 B.C.E. by Herod the Great. The mountain fortress is primarily famous because of the courage and sacrifice of the Jewish zealots, who protected the defence against the Romans in 73 B.C.E. Despite their heroic resistance efforts, the zealots were caught. Hence, they did not surrender, choosing to commit suicide and become martyrs.
Safed is located in Israel’s Northern District, it’s the centre of Kabbalah and Jewish mysticism. The ancient synagogues are impressively beautiful, and each one of them has a fascinating story.