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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