Exploring Israel: Holocaust Museum, Church of the Nativity, Light Tour Jerusalem
Part 3 of my Israel adventure! In June, I did a roundtrip through this beautiful and religious country. Curious about the first two days? Click here for the first day and click here for the second day of the trip. The third day, we went from Tiberias to Jerusalem. On the way, we stopped at a place where we could go to the toilet or buy ourselves some coffee or snacks. At this stop, there were even camels! We couldn’t stop ourselves from going on one of the camels and making some pictures. It was such a nice experience, I’ve never been before on a camel.
After our stop, we went to the Holocaust Museum, near Jerusalem (Yad Vashem), after which we drove further to Bethlehem (where we spent the next few nights) and visited the Church of the Nativity. At the end of the day we had a light tour in Jerusalem, where we visited some really nice places in the city. In this article I’ll tell you more about our third day.
Yas Vashem, also called as the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, is a museum near the city Jerusalem which brings you back in the past and shows you many stories and objects about World War II, which found place during the years 1939 until 1945. There is an inside museum which shows some impressive things. Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to make pictures inside, so we respected that. I did make some pictures from the outside, which had some beautiful views and showed us more stories. If you would like to see some photos from the inside, you can take a look at the official website of the museum.
In the museum itself you can explore the history of the Holocaust thematically and chronologically. Each chapter in the narrative is divided into subchapters with explanatory texts. The texts also includes photos, videos, documents and other objects which come from that time. The museum has a large collection of sources, including various kinds of original Holocaust’s documentation, provided in English including letters and diaries written by Jews during World War II, numerous photographs and original documents.
At the outside of the museum, you can also find a Children’s Memorial, which is also very impressive. This is a tribute to the approximately 1.5 million Holocaust victims who were Jewish children. You walk in the building (the memorial) where it’s very dark. You can see endless reflections of memorial candles where a voice is telling the names of the murdered children, their ages and their countries of origin.
In my opinion, the Holocaust Museum is definitely a place you should visit when travelling to Israel. It is such an impressive museum where you can find in each room another topic and every country is important. I also found it very impressive to read about the Netherlands and the Dutch, since that’s my home country.
Church of the Nativity
When we arrived at Bethlehem, in Palestine, of course we had to go to the Church of the Nativity: a major Christian holy site, which also is a World Heritage Site. The Church of Nativity is the traditional place of Christ’s birth. The funny thing was that we had to go through a very small door to enter the church. However, they were very busy in the church with renovations, so there were scaffoldings everywhere, which made the place unattractive in my opinion. If we wanted to see the place of birth of Christ, we had to go downwards through a little gap. Like you can see in the photo above, this is how the place looked like.
If you are very religious, this absolutely should belong to your list of places to go in Israel. If you aren’t religious at all, there is nothing you will miss when you’re not visiting the church. If you’re a little religious, like me (I was raised religious, but I’m not going to the church very often), this place can be a nice and interesting part of your trip to Israel. I just found it a little bit disappointing that the church was in renovation and everything was so small, but the birthplace itself is very impressive and nice to see.
Light Tour Jerusalem
In the evening, we went by bus to Jerusalem for a light tour. We stopped at several places for some breath taking views over the city. Especially in the dark, it gives a nice image. Unfortunately, I found it hard to make a good picture, haha. We also went to visit the Montefiore mill, which is located in a really nice area of Israel. For us Dutchies, it was extra special, because the Netherlands is of course well-known for its many windmills.
We also went by bus to the Jewish Orthodox district, which was also very impressive to see. We didn’t step out of the bus, but we got a good image of this district of Israel. At the end of the tour, we stopped at the Mamilla street, close to the Old Town of Jerusalem. Mamilla street is a very popular street and even in the evening a very lively place in Jerusalem. We spent some time to go into some shops and to get ourselves some coffee and a late-night, local snack. Mamilla street was in my opinion very cosy and nice to spend a night shopping or to eat something at a nice restaurant.
These three activities were part of day three of our trip through Israel. We spend the night at Bethlehem in a hotel, so each time we had to cross the borders to go to Palestine. Luckily, because we were with a tourist bus, it wasn’t that difficult for us to cross the borders.
Stay stunned for the next few days of our roundtrip! The next few weeks, I’ll tell you all about it.
I’m not very religious myself either but would still be intrigued to see the birthplace of Jesus. Its a shame it was covered in scaffolding though!
Seem like a fitting tribute and memorial to those that payed the ultimate sacrifice. We have visited the Berlin memorial a memorable experience
Yeah, the Holocaust in Berlin is also very powerful and telling.. it’s an unique experience to see those memorials.
Israel has changed souch since I was there. It has so many tours and it’s so dedicated to tourists. It’s true that when I was there 8 years ago I was with a tour agency and wasn’t traveling on my own, but I don’t remember to have heard about light tour and all these beautiful things that you did.
Well, I didn’t booked these activities at a local agency, but my trip was organized and in a group, so our tour leader offered this light tour! It was so spontaneous, but also very nice! However, I have to agree with you that I can understand that there are more tourists nowadays.
Anne @TravelTheGlobe (@TTGLOBE4L)
I went to the Holocaust museum when I was in Jerusalem a few years back. That black room that pays homage to the deceased was so powerful. I found the city incredible too – it actually felt holy and I would not consider myself particularly religious
Wow, these look like two very important places to visit while in Jerusalem. The light tour also sounds very interesting. I will be sure to take note in case I ever visit. Thanks for sharing your experience.