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Posts tagged ‘hotels’

The Convent & the Hidden Ruins: Where to Stay in Jerusalem

Walking through the streets of Jerusalem crowded with believers of several faiths, you know you’re in a holy place.  During my visit, I wanted to stay in the heart of the old city so that I could experience this energy and spirit.  My early morning walks with mothers taking their children to school and evening strolls among the prayerful were everything I had hoped for.  While in Jerusalem, I stayed at a guesthouse for pilgrims run by an order of nuns which was located on the Via Dolorosa (or the Way of the Cross).  Besides being a welcoming home, the convent had a surprisingly beautiful but quirky church and a basement of archaeological remains dating to the Roman occupation of the city.  What more could I ask for?!

Via Dolorosa and Ecce Homo arch, Jerusalem

The Franciscans and Catholic pilgrims heading down the Via Dolorosa for the Friday afternoon Stations of the Cross. Note the aptly named alley (“The Nun’s Ascent”) and the public entrance to the Lithostrotos at the right.

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A Hotel with its Own Archaeological Ruins

hostel view

Terrific view of old city from the roof deck of the Akko Knights Youth Hostel (Photo from hostel)

I wrote recently about the old historic core of Acre (or Akko), Israel which is packed with Crusader era ruins.  Since Acre is mostly a day-tripper’s destination, we stayed a night in the only accommodations in the old city – a youth hostel.  Apparently you can’t dig anywhere in the Acre without discovering an archaeological site!  I was surprised to find that our youth hostel had its own set of ruins on site and did an excellent job exhibiting them as natural elements of the hostel premise.

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