Ascension Day was my first time to visit the Russian Monastery of the Ascension.
(I showed you some of the graves there last Tuesday.)
Everyone knows its tall landmark bell tower; you can't look toward the Mount of Olives and not see it rising on the crest of the mountain.
And guess what!
This was the only way up the tower.
Needless to say, I climbed to the first level and not to the very top.
Right next to the convent we saw this big Muslim cemetery and a mosque.
Beyond, one sees the modern tower of the Hebrew University Mt. Scopus campus.
(You can enlarge all the photos here.)
To its right is the tower of the Lutheran Augusta Victoria.
Off to the top right, in the haze of summer heat--the eastern desert.
While we were up there looking out in all four directions, our tower's bells rang!
The guidebook says
Sent from Russia to the Holy Land port of Jaffa [on the other side of the country] in 1885, the bell weighed eight tons and was too heavy to transport by horse.
In the end a special wheel-shaped wagon was built to house the bell, which was pulled, pushed, and rolled by Russian pilgrims--most of them women--all the way to the Mount of Olives.
The trip took three weeks and several pilgrims fell by the wayside.
But eventually, singing hymns, the group reached Jerusalem and the bell was lifted into the tower.
Aviva Bar-Am, Beyond the Walls: Churches of Jerusalem.
I hope you enjoyed this tour for Our World Tuesday and just a glimpse of a Muslim cemetery for Taphophile Tragics. Shalom!
Linking also to inSPIREd Sunday.