Known as the Mount of Olives because, rather simply, this area was once covered in olive trees. It has served as a Jewish cemetery for at least 3000 years. Today it is the burial place for more than 150,000 people.
During the First and Second Temple Periods, the Mount of Olives became known as a place of religious significance because of its proximity to The Temple. Jewish sources identified the Mount of Olives with future miracles that would occur at the time of the Redemption. This brought many Jewish pilgrims to visit the Mount of Olives.
Today, the Mount of Olives has become a major pilgrimage site for members of the Christian faith. According to The Gospels, important events in the life of Jesus took place here. Jesus is said to have spent a significant amount of time on the mountain; teaching and prophesying. It was here, on the Mount of Olives that Jesus ascended to heaven according to The Book of Acts.
The view of the Old City from the Mount of Olives is absolutely astonishing and should not be missed. It is one of the best places in Jerusalem to take photos with a backdrop of the Old City Walls and the Dome of the Rock.