The First Day – Gethsemane (Jerusalem)

Today dawned just as cold, wet and windy as predicted.

01 - Window View

It was raining and 6* as we left the hotel to go on the bus to the Garden of Gethsemane.

Map - Gethsemane

The Garden was a lot smaller than we expected, although we just went into one part – there was more on the other side of the road and on the other side of the church.

“Gethsemane” comes from two Hebrew words, “gat”, meaning olive-press, and “shemen”, meaning oil. The Garden is full of old olive trees.

02 - Gethsemane

Some of the olive trees are really old. Olive trees don’t have rings, so you can only guess the age by the size of the trunk.

03 - Me and Gethsemane

Here’s something interesting I’ve learnt today: the area of the Garden was the usual camping-ground for Galileans who had come to Jerusalem for Feast Days. So it’s the area Jesus (and many of the disciples) would have camped with their families and villages several times a year as children.

04 - Jesus Praying

We also went into the Church of Sorrows, but it was really dark inside, so I didn’t manage to get many decent photos worth sharing. This is the sanctuary, although the photo’s a bit blurry.

03 - Front of Church

Here’s a surprisingly good artsy-fartsy picture I took outside the front of the church.

05 - Artsy Fartsy

Then we drove up to the Mount of Olives.

Map - Olives

We were meant to go to Mount of Olives first and then walk down Palm Sunday Road to Gethsemane, but it was bucketing down with rain by the time we got to the top, so we didn’t even get out of the bus.

06 - Temple Mount


3 thoughts on “The First Day – Gethsemane (Jerusalem)

  1. Ruth Hay says:

    At least you had the bus to have shelter in! Shame about all the rain though!

  2. Jo Creek says:

    What a pity it rained! Is it the actual Gethsemane from gospel times or a remade approximation of it?
    That was interesting about Galileans using it as a camping ground.

  3. Rachel says:

    From what I understand, it’s (part of) the same area from Jesus’ time – whether it was this exact spot that everything happened or not I don’t know, since the Garden of Gethsemane covered most of that slope of the Mount of Olives back then. Some of the trees in the garden are very, very old, but no-one knows quite how old, either. I imagine the paths aren’t original.

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