Friday, February 22, 2013

Jerusalem, More Than Just A Destination For History-Minded Travelers...

Jerusalem is no longer just a destination for history-minded travelers, but a bustling, modern metropolis teeming with high-end hotels, unique art galleries and museums, as well as culture and sport festivals for travelers of all tastes and interests.


ISRAEL MUSEUM UNVEILS WORLD'S FIRST EXHIBITION HIGHLIGHTING THE LIFE OF KING HEROD
Jerusalem's Israel Museum, the 
largest cultural institution in Israel, unveiled a new exhibition this week detailing the life and legacy of King Herod the Great, featuring hundreds of ancient artifacts, on display through October 5, 2013. The exhibition features never-before-seen carved stone elements from the Temple Mount and an imperial marble basin believed to be a gift from Augustus, among others.www.english.imjnet.org.il   
JERUSALEM LAUNCHES SELF-GUIDED SMARTPHONE TOURS OF THE OLD CITY
Travelers to Jerusalem can now explore the historic Old City sites with a new self-guided tour application for smartphones. The new application offers 16 different self-guided audio walking tours complete with maps, photos and written explanations of each site, including "The Jewish Quarter," "Via Dolorosa," and "Marketplaces in the Old City," among others. The app also features five handicap-accessible tours.www.jerusalem-oldcity.org.il/english.aspx
JERUSALEM'S "TRAIN TRACK PARK" RECEIVES MAKEOVER
Jerusalem recently unveiled the first section of its newly renovated "Train Track Park" near HaRakevet Street, featuring new walking and bicycle paths along the city's old train tracks that once led to Tel Aviv. Modeled after New York City's Highline Park, the once derelict stretch of land along the tracks from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv will connect various neighborhoods and sites in Jerusalem and will feature signs detailing the history of each location. 
JERUSALEM'S SECOND ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL 
ICE FESTIVAL, FEBRUARY 20 - APRIL 30, 2013
Jerusalem will host the second annual International Ice Festival in the Old Jerusalem Train Station compound, February 20 - April 30, 2013. The festival will take place in a 5,000-square-foot space imported from Belgium and decorated in a special Far East d├ęcor by more than 60 artists from China. The festival's "Ice City" will boast three central areas featuring colorful ice sculptures, huge slides, mazes, rain forests, snowstorms and bridges made of ice. The festival will also include a spectacular ice skating performance with more than 30 artists, acrobats and Chinese dancers.
RUNNERS FROM AROUND THE WORLD GEAR UP FOR THIRD ANNUAL JERUSALEM INTERNATIONAL MARATHON, MARCH 1, 2013
Athletes from Israel and around the world will arrive 
jerusalem-marathon
in Jerusalem for the third annual Jerusalem International Marathon on March 1, 2013. Taking place during Israel's 65th anniversary year, the race will include 26-mile, 13-mile and 6.2-mile running routes through a unique course combining historic sites, beautiful landscapes and modern attractions, including the Old City of Jerusalem, Mount Scopus and Hebrew University, Sultan's Pool, Mount Zion, American and German Colonies, the Alrov Mamilla outdoor mall and streets adjacent to the Mahane Yehuda Market. www.jerusalem-marathon.com/ 
JERUSALEM ANNOUNCES SOUNDS OF THE OLD CITY MUSIC FESTIVAL, MARCH 18-22, 2013
The second annual Sounds of the Old City Music Festival will feature live musical performances throughout the cobblestoned streets and squares in the Old City of Jerusalem, March 20-22, 2013. This year's festival will include live music and art videos in various areas of the Old City of Jerusalem, including Muristan Square, the Cardo and courtyards in the Jewish quarter, Jaffa Gate and Mamilla Boulevard, as well as musicians offering street-side performances. www.jerusalem-oldcity.org.il
JERUSALEM'S HISTORIC OTTOMAN-ERA TRAIN STATION TO REOPEN AS ENTERTAINMENT HOTSPOT THIS APRIL 
Jerusalem's historic Ottoman-era train station will reopen as a major entertainment hotspot this April, 
boasting restaurants, art galleries and concert spaces. The 1.7-acre complex will include seven restaurants, four ice cream and coffee stands, an expansive art gallery, a farmers' market and a 2,000-person concert space. Much care has been taken in the preservation of the original building -- enlarged and beautified in 1898 for the visit to Jerusalem of Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm II -- to retain the elegant atmosphere of rail travel, including preservation and restoration of the wooden doors, stained glass windows and carved stone.
NEW HIGH-END HOTELS OPEN IN JERUSALEM
A new wave of luxury hotels have recently opened in Jerusalem, including the Alegra boutique hotel, located in the picturesque Ein Kerem neighborhood with views of the city and Judean Mountains. The refurbished building boasts seven individually designed suites surrounded by a lush Mediterranean orchard.  In addition, the long-awaited Waldorf=Astoria Jerusalem will open in fall 2013 just a minute's walk from the Jaffa Gate to the Old City of Jerusalem, Alrov Mamilla mall and Independence Park. In addition to its 223 lavishly designed rooms, the hotel will boast a fitness suite and two full-service spas, as well as two restaurants and a chic lobby bar. 

For more information about travel to Israel please visit: www.goisrael.com

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