Jerusalem: city of prophetesses, heroines and queens
Overview of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives – this spiritually significant mountain is also the place for a bird’s-eye view of the mountains and valleys surrounding the city and the way it grew through the ages.
Huldah's Tomb –Huldah the prophetess (2 Kings 22:14; 2 Chron. 34:22) has been commemorated here since the Middle Ages. The lady buried here is sacred by other names to other faiths: to Christians, she is St. Pelagia, a fifth-century singer from Antioch who abandoned her former life to devote herself to God. To Muslims, she is Lady Raba’ah, a ninth-century religious luminary.
Eleona (Pater Noster) – one of the first churches to be founded on the Mount of Olives in 326 CE by Queen Helene, the mother of King Constantine who was the first Christian emperor. Queen Helene also identified Calvary and the birthplace of Jesus in Bethlehem; in this and other ways she left an indelible mark on Christian history.
Russian Orthodox Church of Mary Magdalene – this beautiful 19th century church in its tranquil garden setting (open on Tuesday mornings) is the burial site of Princess Alice of Battenberg, Queen Elizabeth’s mother-in-law. Princess Alice, who married into the Greek royal family, was honored as a Righteous Gentile by Yad Vashem in 1994 for hiding a Jewish family when the Nazis took over Athens.
The Tombs of the Kings – an old Jerusalem tradition has it that this magnificent tomb was the burial place of the kings of Judah. But it is actually that of a queen – Helene of Adiabene –who converted to Judaism and came with her family from Mesopotamia to Jerusalem, where she was highly praised for her gifts to the poor and to the Temple.
The Western Wall – a last remnant of the Second Temple, and as such, the holiest place in the Jewish world and a scene of fervent prayer and Bar Mitzvah celebrations (Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays).
The Southern Wall Archaeological Park – a “still-life” of the original Herodian street, revealing Roman destruction Robinson’s Arch, and where a highlight is Hulda’s Gates, named after the prophetess, and by tradition a teacher, who both censured and comforted at the end of the First Temple period.
The Davidson Visitor Center – housed in an eighth-century CE palace, where beautiful displays and a virtual-reconstruction, high-definition interactive model bring Jerusalem’s history alive.
The Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem – in this unique collection of items reflecting Egyptians, the Hittites, the Philistines, the Assyrians and others who left their mark on the region are many displays relating to women, including jewelry, figurines, a bust of “Sarah the Matriarch,” a model of Esther’s palace in Shushan, a Byzantine woman’s decorated sarcophagus and more.