With more than a score of churches in Israel, it can be a challenge deciding which ones to visit during your pilgrimage tour of Israel. Not to worry – you can trust Coral Travel & Tours to help you decide by letting you know about each church when it was built, which Israel churches allow tours and what their schedules are. Building custom Israel tour itineraries with stops to visit historical Israel churches and biblical sites you want to see is what we do every day.
Church of the Holy Sepulcher
Today, the largest Christian church presence in the Holy Land is the Greek Orthodox. It holds major rights to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. Both churches see lots of Christian Israel tour groups from abroad because of their great historic and biblical significance.
The Church of the Holy Sepulcher is in the Christian Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City. The original church was consecrated in 335 AD. According to tradition, dating back to the 4th Century AD, the church contains what Emperor Constantine’s mother Helena believed was the place where Jesus was crucified (ie Calvary) and Jesus’ empty tomb. The tomb itself is enclosed by a 19th century stone edicule. Directly above the shrine is a huge dome decorated with a light resembling a starburst. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher is a popular stop on the pilgrimage trail for visitors.
Church of Mary Magdalene
The Church of Mary Magdalene, a Russian Orthodox Church, is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Jerusalem. Situated on the slopes of the Mount of Olives near the Garden of Gethsemane, the Church of Mary Magdalene stands impressively with its muscovite-style golden domes. The church was built in 1888 by Russian Tsar, Alexander III, in honor of his mother – Empress Maria Alexandrovna. Compared to its exterior, the interior is more subdued albeit still very lovely. Today, the church is a space of worship for a women’s convent under the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church abroad.
Church of St. Anne
The Church of St. Anne is a Roman Catholic Church in Jerusalem belonging to the French government. It sits about 50 yards inside the Lion’s Gate in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City. The Church of St. Anne is the best-preserved example of Medieval architecture in Jerusalem. Built between 1131-1138 AD, this Crusader-era church was built upon the site of a previously destroyed Byzantine church traditionally venerated as the birthplace of the Virgin Mary.
Due to its breathtaking acoustics, St. Anne’s Church is a favorite site for Christian tour groups to sing praises and worship Jesus. You will be blown away by the amazing sounds reverberating off this vast holy chamber built with ancient stones. This is a definite “must-see” stop for any customized Christian Israel tour.
As mentioned, there are numerous historic churches in Israel worth visiting. Some others you might want to see during your custom Israel tour include the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu, the Church of St. John the Baptist, the Church of All Nations, Dormition Abbey and the Church of the Beatitudes.
As a respected leader in the Israel travel industry, Coral Travel & Tours can create the perfect custom biblical Israel tour for your church group. Contact info: 866.267.2511 or firstname.lastname@example.org