Go to ABC7Chicago.com


abc7chicago.com blogs
Read more ABC7 blogs

Advertisement

- Chicago Traffic

« On The Road to Mystical Safed, Tel Dan Nature Reserve and Golan Heights Winery. | Main | On The Road to The Holy City »

12/29/2011

On The Road to Jerusalem

It is with a sense of awe that I share with you today's travel adventures.  On our way to Jerusalem we stopped at two ancient ruins - the first, the mosaics of Beit Alpha.

IMG_3707 IMG_3713

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On December 30, 1928 members of Kibbutz Beit Alfa discovered a mosaic floor in the nearby fields. Excavations revealed a highly decorated and well preserved mosaic featuring a zodiac and many human and animal figures. The ancient Jewish art dates back to the Byzantine period, roughly 500 CE. Debates continue regarding the Greco-Roman influence to include a non-Jewish symbol as the zodiac in the artwork of a synagogue.

IMG_3717

We continued on through the Jordan Valley to our next stop, the ruins of Beit She'an. When you enter the ancient Roman city, it leaves you breathless, each site more magnificent than the last.  

IMG_3719
IMG_3730 IMG_3724

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The city, known as Scythopolis, flourished during the 2nd and 3rd centuries as the Romans introduced international trade in the region.  It was a city of great wealth, but also a culture of great extravagance.  

 

 

 

IMG_3732 IMG_3727

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The bath house, wet sauna and massage room offered many temptations.  From the imported granite pillars to the mosaic floor along the entire main road, the city was one of excess.

 

IMG_3728 IMG_3741

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When mosaic tile went out of style, the expensive artwork was covered with a new marble road!  The Roman Temple was built on the mountain with an incredible panoramic view of the city.  Scythopolis came to an abrupt end in 749 CE when an earthquake destroyed the region.

IMG_3749 IMG_3752

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_3743

 

IMG_3742

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our final destination today - the Holy City of Jerusalem.  As we drove through the check point, I must say, much to my surprise, this was the first time I saw any military presence since our arrival 4 days ago. Thank you to all of you reading this blog who have commented, concerned for my safety - maybe I'm being a bit naive, but I have felt safe the entire time I've been here, and am confident that will be the case throughout the trip.  As we approached magnificent Haas Promenade, our tour guide had us get out to take in the view.  It is nothing like I have ever seen and so much more than I could have imagined.  I am filled with emotion as I take in every essence of this spiritual place.

IMG_3763
We pause to say a prayer over wine and bread...

 

...and prepare to explore Jerusalem tomorrow!

IMG_3775


 

 

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a010536b85cff970b0162fea8fd72970d

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference On The Road to Jerusalem:

Comments

We're lovin' your blog! I wish I was there with you!

The comments to this entry are closed.