Most travel and tours of Israel take in the Mount of Olives, a mountain ridge situated adjacent to the Old City of Jerusalem, and so-named because of the olive groves that once abundantly grew here. The mount has served as a Jewish cemetery for over 3000 years and has over 150,000 graves. Many important events from the Gospels are said to have taken place here, and it is especially known as the place of Jesus’ ascension to heaven. Because of this, it has been a revered Christian site for a millennia and remains today a major pilgrimage site for Christians and a mainstay of a holy land tours
Notable sites of interest on the Mount are the Church of all Nations, the Church of Maria Magdalene, Gethsemane, and Church of the Pater Noster, the Tomb of Zachariah the Orson Hyde Memorial Hospital and Mary’s Tomb. The Emek Tzurim National Park resides at the base of the Mount.