Jerusalem, Israel

The Road to Jerusalem

By Gork, independent tour guide in Israel

There were no proper roads for carriages until the 1867 when the Kaiser of Austria, Franz Joseph, came to visit the Jerusalem’s holy sites. Travelers from the coast like the returning Jews who disembarked at the harbor of Jaffa, made their way on foot or by donkey to Jerusalem. The journey took two days, with an overnight stop at an inn at the entrance to the valley leading to Jerusalem, known as Bab el Wad. From here the road passes narrow, winding defiles with steep cliffs on either side. Until the six day war of 1967 Jordan (then an enemy country) held the territory on either side of the road, giving the road the name “the Jerusalem Corridor” and making it quite precarious to travel to Jerusalem. Today, since the 1967  6 day war, Israel controls all the territory and a wide, modern road carries the traveler swiftly to Jerusalem.

It opens out a a bit at the settlement of Shoresh, on a high hill, the masreik (comb), on the one side and Newe Ilan on the other. This, overlooks the road and the villages alongside, Abu Ghosh and Deir Rafat. These villages contain interesting remains of the road and buildings alongside it, such as milestone, Roman fortresses, monasteries of the Crusader Times, making a walk along the route of the ancient road an interesting experience.



About Gork, independent tour guide in IsraelProfile image of tour guide Gork
Autobiography. I was born in a little town in S. Africa by the name of Krugersdorp where I did all the wonderful things that go to developing a child into an adult. I attended primary school, high school and like all Jewish children, Heder (an afternoon school where I learnt the basics of the Jewish Religion, Hebrew and Jewish History), I loved all of this, but constantly felt that there was more to know than the teachers taught me. My curiosity lead me to delve deeply into the history o
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