What has not already been said about the holiest city in the world, the eternal city first built thousands of years ago, whose history can be heard in the whispering of the wind along the walls, where every stone tells a wondrous story of a city that has drawn millions of faithful pilgrims for thousands of years. Such is Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, the only city in the world that has 70 names of love and yearning, the city that in old maps appears at the center of the world and is still adored like a young bride.
Jerusalem is a city of overwhelming emotions, a city that promises a religious and spiritual experience, excitement and pleasure, interesting tours and entertaining adventures. Here, alongside Jerusalem’s fascinating historic and archaeological sites, there are amazingly modern tourist attractions for all lovers of culture, the arts, theater and music, architecture and gastronomic delights.
With its religious and historic sites, cultural attractions, and picturesque mountain setting, Jerusalem is Israel’s foremost tourist destination, drawing one-and-a-half million visitors a year, or roughly 70 percent of all persons who visit Israel. In the same year, Jerusalem’s hotels employed 6,151 workers and welcomed 970,000 guests. The city has 65 hotels, with a combined total of 8,046 rooms. About 38 percent of travelers to Jerusalem come from the Americas, and 43 percent come from Europe.
The most colorful shopping experience to be found in Jerusalem, however, is afforded by the crowded, bustling market stalls (or Shuk) of the Old City, where haggling with merchants is the rule and can reduce the initial asking price of an item by over one-half. A large selection of souvenirs is available for visitors of all religions, including many items that incorporate olive wood, silver, and turquoise. Ceramics are another of the many specialty items available in the market stalls.
As the Jewish people’s living memorial to the Holocaust, Yad Vashem safeguards the memory of the past and imparts its meaning for future generations. Established in 1953, as the world center for documentation, research, education and commemoration of the Holocaust, Yad Vashem is today a dynamic and vital place of intergenerational and international encounter.
For over half a century, Yad Vashem has been committed to four pillars of remembrance:
Jerusalem is also Israel’s most popular site for international conferences, hosting about 50 percent of all such events