Sufism and Ottoman Architecture in Palestine during the Ottoman Rule (1516-1908)

When Jerusalem was occupied by Ottoman troops in the early 16th century, neither the local population was harmed nor were the historic sites damaged. Quite to the contrary, law and order was reinforced, the walls of Jerusalem rebuilt, and the bedouins kept at bay. Moreover, Sultan Suleiman the Lawgiver also built a number of drinking fountains for the provision of water to the worshippers that flocked to the Haram al-Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary).

Day 1
Arrival Day

Arrival at Tel Aviv Airport where you will be met and greeted by your ITERU  representative for a short introduction. Afterwards, private transfer up to the hills of Jerusalem and arrival at your hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 2
Jerusalem’s Old City

After breakfast at your hotel, explore the Sufi Trail in the Old City of Jerusalem. Even though Sufism has faded in Jerusalem, its institutions have survived and still indicates the mysticism of the place in the community of Jerusalem during those times. The path starts outside the walls of the Old City at the Damascus Gate and ends in the heart of Old City in the Christian Quarter. The path lasts two and a half to three and a half hours, and the requirements are very simple: A flash light and comfortable walking shoes, please bring both.

Included in the path are models of the three institutions Sufism, “al Khanqah”, “al Zawiya” and “al Rabat”. Each of these locations describes a certain use of the facility by Sufis in their daily lives. As time passed, they all described a similar function in the lives of the Sufis in Jerusalem. They included houses, gardens, schools, mosques and meditation quarters.

Your visit will include the following locations.

  1. al-Aqsa Mosque and The Dome of the Rock (entrance not possible for tourist)
  2. Aladhamiya Corner
  3. Khanqah Aldawadariya
  4. Alqadiriya Corner
  5. Almansouri Rabat
  6. Alqurmiya Corner
  7. Alsalahiyya Khanqah
  8. The Holy Sepulchre

Day 3
Jerusalem – New City

After breakfast, visit buildings constructed during the Ottoman Empire outside the walls of the Old City. Visit the Swedish Theological Institute Center, a building which was built by a German visitor, Conrad Schick in 1882. He used stones from the Old City where he could find them and built this beautiful building. Fortunately it has a garden in its quarters away from the bustling Haneveim street. Visits are possible between 9AM and 1PM.

Afterwards, drive to the Swiss-run luxury hotel favored by foreign correspondents and diplomats, the American Colony Hotel. Visit the restored Pasha’s (Ottoman officer’s) Palace, an Old World elegance with spacious rooms, stone courtyards, and genteel service. Enjoy a lunch à la cart, either in the internal garden or in the external one. Continue to the Islamic Museum and explore the many different historic and cultural reminisces of Islam during those times. Drive on to Bethlehem for dinner and overnight.

Day 4
Bethlehem and Hebron

The Virgin Mary, the Holy mother of the Prophet Issa (Jesus), is mentioned repeatedly in the Holy Koran. Visit the Church of Nativity and discover the changes that were made to the structure during the different periods throughout history in this holy city.

Visit the Old City of Bethlehem, enjoy the Arabic architecture, and continue to drive to Hebron. As you approach Hebron, you will observe the stepped garden terraces of the farmers, with grape vines of famous Hebron grapes and other vegetable produce. Visit the Tomb of the Prophets – The Mosque of Abraham. Walk through the Old City streets and do some shopping if you wish. Hebron is famous for its Hebron Glass and its Palestinian pottery. Return to Bethlehem to your hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 5
Safad

Visit the Old City of Safad and wonder through its beautiful streets. For a bit of Ottoman history pay a visit to the Red Mosque, a historical mosque which is today used as a wedding hall, or to the Old Turkish Headquarters of Safad which is now used as a community center. Visit the Artists Quarters; a number of old houses transformed into Artists quarters and explore the art on offer. Return to your hotel in Safad for dinner and overnight.

Day 6
Caesarea, Jaffa and the Mediterranean Sea

After breakfast drive along the shore to Caesarea to visit the Roman amphitheater and the mosque built by Salah Eddin. The city was built by the Romans but some buildings were added when Salah Eddin conquered the region.

Continue to Jaffa and make a stop for lunch at one of the Palestinian restaurants along the seashore. After lunch, visit the old city quarters and the main Ottoman building in the center of the town, the Jaffa Clock Tower. The tower was recently renovated and is dominant in the towns’ center. Drive to your hotel in Tel Aviv for dinner and overnight.

Day 7
Departure Day

After breakfast and if time permits, enjoy a walk along the Mediterranean shore. You may have some time to yourself, reflect about your experience and maybe think of another theme for your next visit to this mysterious and plentiful land!

Return to your hotel and from there drive to Ben Gurion airport for final departure.

Tour Details

Including

All our tours are private tours including private transportation and private guiding.

  • Meet & Assist at Tel Aviv Airport.
  • 6 nights stay in mentioned places in good middle class hotels or church guesthouses (please tell us about your preferences), all overnight stays incl. breakfast.
  • All mentioned sightseeing tours, including transportation by private modern & tourism-licensed a/c vehicles (according to group size).
  • Professional guiding by a qualified & tourism-licensed guide..
  • Half board (breakfast + dinner, excl. beverages).
  • Recommended gratuities.
  • Travel Security Consultation prior to and throughout your tour.
  • Special services for church groups and study groups.

Prices

All prices are inclusive of all mentioned services and valid throughout the year except major holidays during the high season. Please inquire for details.

  • Private tour, 1 to 4 people: Please inquire for individual pricing.
  • Private tour, 5 to 9 people: 1380 €
  • Private tour, 10 to 17 people: 1090 €
  • Private tour, 18 to 26 people: 950€
  • Private tour, 27 to 36 people: 880 €
  • Private tour, 37 and more: Please inquire for individual pricing.

Customize Your Tour

Please feel free to provide us with your own ideas and preferences about your tour. Our travel professionals will be happy to tailor your personalized tour exactly as you want it to be!

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