The Via Dolorosa, the ‘Way of Grief’, is a street within the Old City of Jerusalem. It is believed to be the path that Jesus walked on the way to his crucifixion by the Romans. It follows a winding route from the Antonia Fortress to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, a distance of about 600 metres, and is a celebrated worldwide as a place of Christian pilgrimage. The current route has been established since the 18th century, replacing various earlier versions. It is marked by nine Stations of the Cross – there are fourteen stations in all, with the remaining five stations being inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The traditional route starts just inside the Lions' Gate Umariya Elementary School (St. Stephen's Gate) in the Muslim Quarter, at the, near the location of the former Antonia Fortress, and makes its way westward through the Old City to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Christian Quarter.
“...These are the narrow streets of the Old City of Jerusalem that I used to play and run around as a child. You feel as if you are walking in a scene from the Bible with the smells of the scents and spices sold in the old shops of the market, together with the colourful robes and carpets hanging from the balconies above your head. The stone streets, windows, arches, walls and entrances to the courtyards have all been kept as they were for centuries. Even the sound of footsteps on the stone roads add to the feeling of an old world that one can sense deep inside. It’s a magical place...” Eli Ofir