We promised to report on our new: “Jerusalem – The Temple Mount – A Carta Guide Book”. Incredibly, this is the first true guide book to the Temple Mount to be published since 1925, when the Supreme Muslim Council published their 12-page Brief Guide to al-Haram al-Sharif. In 2006 we published The Quest, Revealing the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. This is an academic work, but written and illustrated in such a way as to be accessible to scholars and laymen alike, detailing every nook and cranny of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
Our new guide book is completely different from The Quest. It has many new evocative reconstructive illustrations and is designed to help visitors understand what they are looking at, but is also invaluable for the person who cannot visit the Temple Mount in the flesh, but whose spirit is very much there.
In the Preface we wrote:
It is the authors’ sincere hope that this profusely illustrated guide book to the Temple Mount will help you to fully savor the experience of visiting a site that is truly without parallel and be embraced by its aura of power and sanctity. It is the culmination of years of academic work distilled into a user-friendly manual whose aim is to make the dry facts and stones come alive. If it can help you make this complex site more accessible and find your own personal spots for reflection, it will have fulfilled our vision. Each of the six distinct areas connected to the Temple Mount is preceded by a “Useful Information” section. Each route has its own detailed tour map. Of course, the tours can be done in whatever order you choose to do them in, including or omitting as you like.
1. The Western Wall – Experience the Wall at the heart of Jerusalem (blue)
2. The Western Wall Tunnels – Follow the wall hidden in darkness (red)
3. Jerusalem Archaeological Park – Walk in the Park around the Southern Wall (brown)
4. The Eastern Wall – Deciphering the Puzzle of the Oldest of the Temple Mount Walls (green)
5. The Northern wall – Discovering the Hidden Wall (purple)
6. Going up to the Mountain of the House of the Lord (white)
The specialised maps at the end of the book provide additional information if you wish to focus on a particular aspect of the Temple Mount. One unique never-before-published map gives New Testament references that will allow you to follow in the footsteps of Jesus and his disciples around the Temple. The plan of the cisterns and underground structures will give you an idea of the magnitude of the vast world that lies beneath the Temple platform. The map of the Islamic structures will acquaint you with the gems of Muslim architecture all over the platform.
Many pages have sidebars containing fascinating tidbits of information on topics such as “Who was Melchizedek”, “What did the Queen of Sheba see?”, “What is the difference between a Menorah and a Hanukkiah?“, “What happens to the prayer notes left in the Western Wall?”? etc.
The book was due to have been published this month but is being delayed by the lack of tourists in Israel at the moment. Ironically, the fact that visitors are being deterred by the present situation and that when they do come, visiting hours are so restricted, makes the sort of virtual tour facilitated by this guide book all the more valuable.
As we wrote in our previous post, you can expedite the book’s speedy publication by using the online Contact Form to express interest to Carta.