7 Facts You May Not Know About Jerusalem

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May 31st, 2019
Fun Facts, Holidays / By

Jerusalem is one of the most famous cities in the world. From ancient history to modern headlines, it matters. Here are seven facts you may not know!

1. Jerusalem is safe.

Statistically, Jerusalem is safer than most big cities its size anywhere else in the world. It is true that Israel is located in the most tumulus region in the world, which is the Middle East.

However, the crime rate, including numbers of assaults and arrests, is much lower than that of most European capitals and state capitals in the USA.

 

2. Jerusalem is just as old as it is new.

There are more than 2,000 active archaeological sites, and over 200,000 new apartments and offices under construction. The joke around town is, cranes are the official birds of Jerusalem.

With its millennia-long history, there’s always more to discover underground from centuries past. At the same time, the city continues to grow and expand, making it more modern and advanced than you’d expect!

 

3. The Mount of Olives is world’s oldest cemetery.

Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives is the oldest still active burial site in the world.

One of the most recognizable landmarks of the city, valued by Jews and Christians alike, Mount of Olives has been a burial site for centuries.

It houses more than 150,000 Jewish graves and the number keeps growing.

 

4. It snows in Jerusalem.

It is not uncommon to snow in Jerusalem in winter, and in the summer nights can get chilly.

Most of southern Israel is considered a desert and the central part of the country, which includes Jerusalem area, is characterized by warm semi-arid climate (arid, meaning dry). However, at the elevation of over 700 meters above sea level (almost 2,500 feet) Jerusalem tends to stay much cooler than her coastal sister, Tel Aviv.

 

5. You can find historical sites literally anywhere.

Walking around residential Jerusalem, you can walk across a historical site at any step.

Even though in Biblical times Jerusalem was significantly smaller and for the most part restricted by city walls, random historical sites are scattered throughout the modern city.

A great example of that is a 2,000+ years old burial chamber of Jason, an ancient naval commander, tucked away in the middle of a modern residential area of Rechavia.

 

6. You can see Bethlehem from Jerusalem.

Jerusalem and Bethlehem are two distinct cities, so one would expect them to be separated by quite some distance. But in reality, you could even walk over from one to the other! It is less than the 10k you just ran the other month! You don’t get a medal for this one though.

If you do decide to take this treck, make sure you don’t do it in the heat of the summer and keep it mind you will have to cross a security crossing.

 

7. Jerusalem Day is a celebration of 50+ years of opening the city to the public!

Jerusalem Day, which falls on June 2 this year, commemorates the reunification of Jerusalem as a result of the 1967 Six-Day War.

Although Israel has been independent since 1948, the Old City of Jerusalem was initially under Jordanian occupation. Jews had no access to their holy sites, like the Western Wall.

Today, regardless of your cultural, national, religious or ethnic background, you can enter through the gates of the Old City in Jerusalem!

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Estera Wieja
Estera Wieja is a journalist, book author and public speaker, focused on the topics of Israel, Jewish history, and Judeo-Christian culture. Born and raised in Poland, Estera is a regular contributor to "Our Inspirations" magazine in Poland. She holds a Bachelor degree in Communications and Media from Azusa Pacific University (California, USA), and a Master degree in Journalism from University of Warsaw, Poland. Estera has lived in Jerusalem, Israel for several years before joining the staff at FIRM in 2018.