Qasr al Yahud (The Jews' Castle or Palace) is a site on the banks of the Jordan River not far from Jericho. Christian tradition associates Qasr al Yahud with the site of Jesus' baptism by Matthew (Matthew 3) and it has been revered as such from at least the fourth century. There are many monasteries and churches in the area testifying to the long religious tradition at Qasr al Yahud. In Jewish tradition the crossing of the Jordan by the Children of Israel under Joshua (Joshua 3) must also have taken place in this general area. It is also associated with the site where Elijah handed over the prophecy to Elisha and rose to heaven on a fiery chariot (2 Kings 11)
Places to Visit Near Jerusalem
About Ein Hemed
Ein Hemed (or in Latin Aqua Bella – beautiful water) is located just outside Jerusalem in near the villages of Bet Nekofa & Abu Gosh.
Ein Hemed is one of the numerous springs that are dotted around the Jerusalem Hills and is located on the Kisalon Stream.
As long ago as 850 years ago it was a Crusader way station on serving the traffic towards Jerusalem and there is still a large ruined Crusader farm house with the park complete with olive press.
An Introduction to Cycling in the Jerusalem Hills
The Jerusalem Hills are a paradise for mountain bike lovers (and also for road bike lovers.) There are many fine and challenging routes available. Many choose to start near the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo towards Ein Lavan (the White Spring). It is possible to start on this trail and cycle your way to the sea entirely off road – a total of around 120Km - you will arrive at the Tel Aviv Port.
Yad Kennedy is one of the special spots just outside Jerusalem in the Jerusalem Forest. It is dedicated to the memory of John F Kennedy.
Yad Kennedy is a largish building on top of one of the highest hilltops in the area commanding superb views. The memorial represents a tree cut off in its prime, with the emblems of the US states on each of the supports.
There are many cave systems that are attributed to the Bar Kochba period.
The Bar Kochba Revolution
Simon Bar Kochba led the third major rebellion by the Jews against the Romans in 132-136. He was acclaimed as a Messiah, by Rabbi Akiva and was regarded as a heroic figure who could restore Israel to its greatness. The revolt established an independent state over parts of Judea for more than two years.
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