Mount of Olives


The Mount of Olives is a mountain ridge east of and adjacent to Jerusalem’s Old City and was named after the olive groves that once covered its slopes. The southern part of the Mount was the Silwan necropolis, attributed to the ancient Judean Kingdom. The mount has been used as a Jewish cemetery for over 3,000 years and holds approximately 150,000 graves, making it central in the tradition of Jewish cemeteries. Several key events throughout Jesus’s life, as related in the Gospels, took place on the Mount of Olives. In the Acts of the Apostles, it is described as the place that Jesus ascended to heaven. Because of its association with both Jesus and Mary, the mount has been a Christian worship site since ancient times and is currently a major pilgrimage site for Catholics, the Eastern Orthodox, and Protestants. The top of the hill is occupied by At-Tur, a former village that is now a neighborhood of East Jerusalem.