The Story Train takes you on an amazing journey through the magical fairy tale world of Astrid Lindgren. Meet Mardie, Emil, Karlsson on the Roof and many others. Experience a treasure trove of Swedish children’s books through playful exhibits and a well-stocked children’s bookstore. Restaurant with a great view. READ MORE ->
Spread across 20.2 hectares in a western corner of Singapore, this sprawling park is Asia’s largest, with a collection of over 5,000 birds from 400 species. You’ll meet the many feathered residents during daily feeding sessions, even glimpsing elusive birds like the crested guinea fowl, iridescent starling and turaco. Don’t miss the Waterfall Aviary, one of the world’s largest walk-in aviaries, home to more than 600 birds and a 30-metre-high waterfall. READ MORE ->
The Makapu’u Lookout, located before the trails leading out to the point, offer gorgeous views to offshore islands like Rabbit Island, plus South Shore Oahus coastline and deep blue ocean waters.
In an entire continent of surf towns, Byron Bay stands out as one of the spiritual and historical homes of surfing in what is, pound for pound, perhaps the greatest surfing nation in the world. Despite a tendency toward the upscale, Byron is at heart a hippie town that favors live bands, relaxed cafes that source local ingredients, and plenty of “all natural” everything. Combine that with the naturally cheerful disposition of many Aussies and you won’t find better waves in a more pleasant setting anywhere in the world. The town’s main wave, the Pass, is a classic right-hand point break that accommodates all levels of surfers, though it can get crowded on good swells. Beginners should stay on the beach and more advanced surfers can head south to Broken Head, which has great beach breaks and other classic points.
Jutting out into the Pacific Ocean, the small rocky peninsula known as Bodega Head offers stunning bluff top vistas, enticing trails, beach access, and abundant wildlife viewing, from seabirds to seals and migrating whales. Only about four miles long and one mile wide, Bodega Head shelters the bay and harbor from the power of the Pacific Ocean. Composed of rugged granite, the Head is a bit off of the main coastal route, making it a delightful place to explore along the Sonoma County coast. READ MORE ->
Newgrange is a Stone Age monument in the Boyne Valley, County Meath, Ireland. Newgrange was constructed over 5,000 years ago (about 3,200 B.C.) during the Neolithic period, which makes it older than Stonehenge and Great Pyramids of Giza. Newgrange is a large circular mound with a stone passageway and chambers inside. The mound is ringed by 97 large kerbstones. Newgrange was built by a farming community that prospered on the rich lands of the Boyne Valley. Knowth and Dowth are similar mounds that together with Newgrange have been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Archaeologists classified Newgrange as a passage tomb, however Newgrange is now recognised to be much more than a passage tomb. Ancient Temple is a more fitting classification, a place of astrological, spiritual, religious and ceremonial importance, much as present day cathedrals are places of prestige and worship where dignitaries may be laid to rest. READ MORE ->
The city of Jerusalem was originally built around the Gihon Spring, on the southeastern hill to the south (left) of the Temple Mount, which is today crowned with the gold-domed Dome of the Rock. Jerusalem has been continuously inhabited since at least 3000 BC, but it was only in the time of Solomon that the city limits expanded beyond the southeastern spur, known today as the “City of David.”
A place of refuge and royal grounds south of Kealakekua Bay Located at Honaunau Bay in South Kona, Puuhonua o Honaunau immerses you in Hawaiian culture. This 180-acre national historic park was once the home of royal grounds and a place of refuge for ancient Hawaiian lawbreakers. Kapu, or sacred laws, were of utmost importance to Hawaiian culture and the breaking of kapu had its consequences, including death. If one were to break kapu, their only chance for survival was to evade his pursuers and make it to a puuhonua, or a sacred place of refuge. Once there, a ceremony of absolution would take place and the one who broke kapu would be able to return to society. Hundreds of years old yet beautifully restored, Puuhonua o Honaunau remains one of Hawaii's most sacred historic places. Follow the park and map and take a self-guided walking tour and explore the grounds including the Great Wall, standing 10-feet high and 17-feet thick. Fierce kii, or wooden images of gods, guard the Hale o Keawe Heiau, a sacred temple that housed the bones of 23 alii (chiefs). A black lava rock shoreline hindered those who broke kapu from approaching by sea. Beyond the puuhonua, explore the nearby Royal Grounds, which were the sacred home of alii. See Keoneele Cove, the royal canoe landing; the Keoua Stone, the favorite resting place of the high chief of Kona, Keoua; as well as halau (thatched work house), fishponds and a heiau (sacred temple) that is one of the oldest structures in the park. Beautiful at sunset, this sacred place gives visitors an important glimpse into early Hawaiian culture. READ MORE ->
Ouray has been a special destination of world travelers for more than 100 years. This small intimate community is nestled in some of the most rugged and towering peaks of the Rockies. Set at the narrow head of a valley at 7,792 feet and surrounded on three sides with 13,000 foot snowcapped peaks - Ouray is home to hundreds of miles of historic Jeep roads, sulfur-free hot springs with stunning views and the world-famous Ouray Ice Park. Remarkably, two-thirds of Ouray's original Victorian structures, are still occupied, and have been lovingly restored in order to preserve their turn-of-the-century charm. READ MORE ->
Once called the Big Mountain in northwestern Montana, Whitefish Mountain Resort offers spectacular views of Glacier National Park and Flathead National Forest. With an annual snowfall of 300 plus inches and 3000 acres of skier and rider accessible terrain, 11 lifts, two T-bars and one magic carpet offer access to 105 named trails and vast bowl and tree skiing. READ MORE ->
The Rainbow Falls in Hilo are a good place to visit early in the morning perhaps even before breakfast. This broad waterfall in the Wailuku river is conveniently located within Hilo town. It cascades over a lava cave that according to legends is home to the ancient Hawaiian goddess Hina, the goddess of the moon. The waterfall itself is a modest 80 ft high, which is not that high compared to the nearby, 422 ft, ‘Akaka falls. However, the Rainbow falls are more easily accessible and it is possible to see the falls from very close, compared to the ‘Akaka falls. Besides, a big selling point of these waterfalls are the many rainbows you can see in early morning. READ MORE ->
Eucalyptus tree–filled grove with thousands of monarch butteries in late October through February. Each year thousands of vibrant orange and black Monarch Butterflies flock to Pismo Beach, seeking shelter from the freezing northern winters. From late October to February, the butterflies cluster in the limbs of a grove of Eucalyptus trees at Pismo State Beach. The grove is easily accessible. It is located on State Highway 1 at the south boundary of the city limits of Pismo Beach. READ MORE ->
The Cafesjian Center for the Arts is dedicated to bringing the best of contemporary art to Armenia and presenting the best of Armenian culture to the world. Inspired by the vision of its founder, Gerard L. Cafesjian, the Center offers a wide variety of exhibitions, derived from the Gerard L. Cafesjian Collection of contemporary art. Having celebrated its grand opening in November 2009, CCA continues to exhibit unique works of modern art and offers a diverse program of lectures, films, concerts, and numerous educational initiatives for adults and children. READ MORE ->
Important both for its high biodiversity and for its karst features, Gunung Mulu National Park, on the island of Borneo in the State of Sarawak, is the most studied tropical karst area in the world. The 52,864-ha park contains seventeen vegetation zones, exhibiting some 3,500 species of vascular plants. Its palm species are exceptionally rich, with 109 species in twenty genera noted. The park is dominated by Gunung Mulu, a 2,377 m-high sandstone pinnacle. At least 295 km of explored caves provide a spectacular sight and are home to millions of cave swiftlets and bats. The Sarawak Chamber, 600 m by 415 m and 80 m high, is the largest known cave chamber in the world. whc.unesco.org/en/list/1013
Located in a country known for cold water, heavy waves, and sharks, Muizenberg, South Africa, is an oasis of gentle rollers, friendly locals, and beachside cafes. And don’t forget about the local wine. “Muizenberg is the best ‘learn to surf’ beach in the world,” says Tim Conibear, founder of Isiqalo, a Cape Town organization that teaches kids from low-income neighborhoods to surf. “The attitude in the water is also super-mellow, with a general acceptance of all watercrafts and abilities. Shark spotters keep you safe, so you don't need to worry. For heavier waves, take a walk toward Kalk Bay, where there's a serious reef. Danger Reef is also a little left-breaking wave that's worth a stop.”
Anse de Grande Saline takes its name from the large salt pond nearby. The beach is a favorite of nudists (who turn right) and gay visitors (who turn left). While nudism is officially forbidden in St. Barths, it is most likely to be practiced here. Happily, this beach is a favored haunt of the most comely women and the most handsome men. READ MORE ->
The biggest market hall of the city, Great Market Hall, stands right next to Pest-end of Liberty Bridge. The building, that has Zsolnay tiles, was opened in 1897, and back then the fresh products arrived through the canal in the middle. There’s no canal today, but they still have fresh local delicacies, vegetables, fruits, salamis, and quality meet products. The hall is a must-see for tourists, so no surprise it has plenty of souvenir shops. Upstairs, numerous buffets offer their Hungaricums: if someone wants to have real a Hungarian (sometimes overpriced) töltött káposzta (stuffed cabbage), goulash, Hortobágyi palacsinta (meat filled pancake), or lángos, then they should mark Vámház körút 1-3 on their maps. READ MORE ->
The Lions Gate is also known as St. Stephen’s Gate, it is the location that Paul (Saul) witnessed the stoning of Steven. The Lion’s Gate is located in the east wall, and leads to the Via Dolorosa. Near the top of the Lion’s Gate are four figures of lions, two on the left and two on the right. Israeli soldiers from the 55th Paratroop Brigade came through this gate during the Six Day War in 1967.
The Nimrod Fortress is the biggest Crusade-era castle in all of Israel, a mountain-top stronghold spanning back to the 13th century. With views of much of the Golan, the Nimrod Fortress is situated on a peak neighboring Israel’s highest and only snow-capped mountain, Mount Hermon. Below the fortress are the lush Banias forests with the rivers and waterfalls. The ruins of Nimrod Fortress are beautiful and well-preserved, a truly visible snapshot of history. Nimrods Fortress and Hula Valley from North Tower. Image: Boruch LenNimrods Fortress and Hula Valley from North Tower. Image: Boruch Len Within the stately ruins of the Nimrod Fortress – some 420 meters in length and 150 meters in width, a route has been mapped out, each place of interest marked with descriptive signs. From the lower western section, where most of the interesting antiquities are found, to the upper eastern section, the oldest part of the fortress, some 13 marked sites are to be seen on the route. Starting with the Northwest Tower, a short walk up from the parking lot, a collection of rooms, arches and even a small toilet room are seen. Next, after seeing the Baybars Inscription, is the Western Tower which is not yet excavated. Then, still following the route, the Southwest Tower and the Large Reservoir – a spectacular indoor reservoir pool within an arched room, are to be enjoyed. Continuing along the wall to the upper western section, the “Beautiful Tower” can be found, a round room with a great faceted pillar holding up the stone ceiling. Crossing the dry Moat, the Donjon (Keep) is next. Atop the Keep one gets the best view of both the fortress and the surrounding area, a beautiful blend of stone and foliage. Returning to the western section, the Prison Tower can be visited and when you want to “escape” you can sneak through the Secret Passage (27 meters or 88.5 feet long) which opens up in the Northwest Tower – where the route started. The full circle can take up to several hours, depending on how long one spends both examining the magnificent architecture and the incredible panoramic vista. READ MORE ->
Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens, the finest of its kind in Asia, the largest of the botanical gardens of Sri Lanka, couldn't be better located. In the Mediterranean climate of Kandy, the gateway to the Central Highlands, the Gardens, at an elevation of 500 meters above sea-level, were tightly bounded on three sides by a loop of River Mahaweli (Great sandy river), the largest river of Sri Lanka. The town of Peradeniya is located at a distance of 110km from Colombo and another 6km over the Peradeniya Birdge and you are at Kandy, home to the sacred Temple of Tooth. Peradeniya is believed to take its exotic name from Sinhalese names Pera (guava) and Deniya (a plain). The name also reveals, although Guava is not indigenous to Sri Lanka, introduction of the fruit to the island and cultivation had occurred even prior to the era of British Colonialists in Ceylon. READ MORE ->
Mtatsminda is the mountain topped by the 210m-high TV mast that overlooks central Tbilisi. Located 800-metres above the city Mtatsminda Park (known as Bombora) spreads over more than 1 sq km and has been a popular fun spot for generations. READ MORE ->
Tel Dan National Park combines a lush nature reserve with a biblical archaeological experience with three easy hiking routes Tell (Tel) Dan is a nature reserve and the source of the Dan and Jordan rivers. It is an impressive archaeological site with unique remains of the Canaanite and Israelite cities and a Biblical High Place. Tell Dan is located north of Kibbutz Dan. To reach the site, pass the Kibbutz going north, and turn left on the next road following the signs to the Nature Reserve. Biblical period - Relocation of Dan A large number of families from the Israelite tribe of Dan relocated during the 12th C from the central region of Israel to the area around the Canaanite city of Laish-Leshem. They were forced out of the center of Israel by the invading Philistines. The area on the foothills of Mt Hermon was a perfect place, since it is located in the heart of a fertile valley with plenty of water coming down from Mt Hermon and the hills around it. The Bible tells how 600 families of the Dan tribe looked for a substitute for their location in the center of Israel, by sending 5 spies to the Canaanite city (Judges 18 1-2): '...in those days the tribe of the Danites sought them an inheritance to dwell in; for unto that day all their inheritance had not fallen unto them among the tribes of Israel. And the children of Dan sent of their family five men from their coasts, men of valor... to spy out the land, and to search it; and they said unto them, Go, search the land'. The spies returned and praised the fertile area (18 9): '...we have seen the land, and, behold, it is very good'. They later captured the city (Judges 8 27): 'and came unto Laish, unto a people that were at quiet and secure: and they smote them with the edge of the sword, and burnt the city with fire'. The Israelites renamed the city to Dan (Joshua 19 47): 'And the coast of the children of Dan went out too little for them: therefore the children of Dan went up to fight against Leshem, and took it, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and possessed it, and dwelt therein, and called Leshem, Dan, after the name of Dan their father'. READ MORE ->
Referred by locals as the Eighth Wonder of the World this ancient palace and fortress complex has significant archaeological importance and attracts thousands of tourists every year. It is probably the most visited tourist destination of Sri Lanka. he palace is located in the heart of the island between the towns of Dambulla and Habarane on a massive rocky plateau 370 meters above the sea level. Sigiriya rock plateau, formed from magma of an extinct volcano, is 200 meters higher than the surrounding jungles. Its view astonishes the visitors with the unique harmony between the nature and human imagination. The fortress complex includes remnants of a ruined palace, surrounded by an extensive network of fortifications, vast gardens, ponds, canals, alleys and fountains. The surrounding territories of Sigiriya were inhibited for several thousand years. Since 3th century BC the rocky plateau of Sigiriya served as a monastery. In the second half of the 5th century king Kasyapa decided to construct a royal residence here. After his death Sigiriya again became a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century, when it was abandoned. READ MORE ->
With panoramic views of the incredible Shasta National Forest, Lake Siskiyou is the recreational jewel of Northern California. Whether it be quiet fishing moments , quality family time with your children or 4-leg friends out on the lake, or kicking back and relaxing , Lake Siskiyou is the perfect place to take a break and enjoy the great outdoors.
Iconic, mountainous shoreline on Kauai’s North Shore about 90 minutes north of Lihue. Spanning 17 miles along Kauai’s North Shore, the Napali Coast is a sacred place defined by extraordinary natural beauty. These emerald-hued cliffs with razor-sharp ridges tower above the Pacific Ocean, revealing beautiful beaches and waterfalls that plummet to the lush valley floor. The rugged terrain appears much as it did centuries ago when Hawaiian settlements flourished in these deep, narrow valleys, existing only on the food they could grow and the fish they could catch. There are many ways to explore the Napali Coast, but the safest access and best views are found by sea or by air. Boat tours depart from Port Allen on the West Side, and during the summer months, guided kayaking trips bring you up-close to soaring cathedral cliffs. When conditions are right, raft tours are available to guide you to hidden sea caves and remote beaches. READ MORE ->
The iconic ruin of Dunluce Castle bears witness to a long and tumultuous history. First built on the dramatic coastal cliffs of north County Antrim by the MacQuillan family around 1500, the earliest written record of the castle was in 1513. It was seized by the ambitious MacDonnell clan in the 1550's, who set about stamping their mark on the castle under the leadership of the famous warrior chieftain Sorely Boy MacDonnell during an era of violence, intrigue and rebellion. In the 17th century Dunluce was the seat of the earls of County Antrim and saw the establishment of a small town in 1608. Visitors can explore the findings of archaeological digs within the cobbled streets and stone merchants’ houses of the long-abandoned Dunluce Town. The dramatic history of Dunluce is matched by tales of a banshee and how the castle kitchens fell into the sea one stormy night in 1639. READ MORE ->
The Banias Waterfall provides one of Israel’s most beautifully tranquil spots. Set within the Banias Nature Reserve in the Golan, the Banias is a spring which rises from the base of Mount Hermon, Israel’s tallest mountain, flowing for about 3.5km through a gorge, eventually coming to the impressive waterfall, the largest in Israel. READ MORE ->
You'll feel like an extra in a sci-fi movie when exploring the massive Makhtesh Ramon Nature Reserve. The landscape resembles Tatooine (the fictional desert planet in Star Wars) and the wide, open spaces, far from city lights and crowds, are equally suited to those seeking solitude or an activity-triggered adrenaline rush. In Hebrew the word 'mitzpe' means ‘lookout’, and the town of Mitzpe Ramon, spectacularly sited on the makhtesh's northern edge, well and truly lives up to its name. Views are of the take-your-breath-away variety and draw a constant stream of tourists – as a result the town is well set up with tourism infrastructure. Sometimes described as Israel’s very own Grand Canyon, the reserve is the largest protected area in Israel and is home to a huge number of hiking, cycling and horse-riding trails, as well as cliffs offering rappelling opportunities. If you're keen on outdoor activities, you'll be in your element. Despite being in the heart of the desert, Mitzpe (as it's often called) is also one of the coldest places in Israel due to its elevation (900m above sea level), so pack appropriately. READ MORE ->
Enjoy the half mile downhill walk to the Light Station buildings. There is much to do when visiting the Point Cabrillo Light Station, a California State Historic Park. The State Park includes the historic 1909 Light Station (30.5 acres), approximately 270 acres of undeveloped coastal bluffs and prairie and numerous coves, including Frolic Cove, the site of the shipwreck Frolic. When visiting, please respect how dangerous the Pacific Ocean can be, even on apparently calm days and stay well away from the edges of any bluffs. READ MORE ->
Famous area of picturesque hills & meadows dotted with villages, grand residences & castles. - Google. Photogenic villages, rolling hills, castles, gardens Stretching across 800 square miles of bucolic hills, Britain’s Cotswolds region includes countless charming villages in five counties that personify the enduring appeal of the English countryside. Medieval wool merchants built stately manor houses and remarkable, timeless churches that have been lovingly preserved. And Britain’s largest designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is blessed with an abundance of Roman sites, abbeys, gardens and castles. READ MORE ->
Tucked into the forested foothills of the Southern Alps, the cosy township of Fox Glacier is geared up for glacier walks, hikes and flights. Named after Sir William Fox, New Zealand’s Prime Minister from 1869 to 1872, Fox Glacier describes both the glacier and the nearby village. Like its twin, Franz Josef, the glacier descends from the Southern Alps down into temperate rainforest just 300 metres above sea level. To see the glacier, you can walk to the terminal face, arrange an ice-hiking adventure or book a sightseeing flight. There are glow worm caves just a short walk from the town centre, which offers a good choice of cafes and restaurants. Close to Fox Glacier is beautiful Lake Matheson, one of the most photographed lakes in New Zealand. On a clear day it reflects Mount Cook. READ MORE ->
The Soreq Cave also known as Avshalom’s Caves or the Stalactite Caves is a nature reserve and part of the National Parks Authority. It is an example of “Natural Beauty”. Located between Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh, the caves are a great place to spend a morning or an afternoon with your family. READ MORE -> The beautiful formations are made from years of dripping water and you must make sure to wear good shoes with traction because it can get quite slippery. There are guard rails throughout and the path is lit. Humidity in the cave is between 92%-100%. The cave is 82 meters long and 62 meters wide. Kids find the cave “magical” and it is a very memorable experience.' target='_blank'>READ MORE ->
St John's Co-Cathedral, Malta's most impressive church, was designed by the architect Gerolamo Cassar. It was built between 1573 and 1578, taking over from the Church of Saint Lawrence, Vittoriosa as the place where the Knights would gather for communal worship. The interior was revamped in the 17th century in exuberant Maltese baroque style, and it's an astounding surprise after the plain facade. One of its greatest treasures is a huge painting of John the Baptist by Caravaggio. READ MORE ->
Dominating Palace Square, the Grand Master's Palace has always been the house of government in Malta, first by the knights, then the British and now hosts the President’s office. When parliament is not in session you can visit the palace for free, and there is an awful lot to see in here. The Grand Master’s Palace has been the administrative centre of Malta for almost three and a half centuries. The original palace, built in 1571, was the seat of the Grand Master of the Knights Hospitalliers of St John and later, during the British colonial period, served as the Governor’s palace. Today it is home to the House of Representatives of Malta and the office of the President of the Republic of Malta. The Age of Chivalry comes alive in one of the most prominent arms collections , with weapons and armour that provide a human context to the Great Siege of Malta, and the military provenance of the Knights of St. John. Highlights include the personal armour of Grand Master La Valette, the dazzling parade armour of Grand Master Alof de Wignacourt, and a collection of weapons used by the Ottomans during the Great Siege of 1565. READ MORE ->
The Museum of Antioquia (Museo Antioquia) is probably the most ambitious urban and cultural enterprise in Medellin. Recently renovated, the new branch hosts most of the permanent and traveling exhibitions in its halls. It is located in the facilities formerly occupied by the old Palacio Municipal. The bulk of the exhibition are on the second floor and include works by Botero ... READ MORE ->
A wetland home to thousands of species. A paradise for birds, and shelter to hundreds of bird species. A natural triangle between the rivers Danube and Drava, and the largest internal delta of the Danube. This area is one of the largest European wetlands, and it never looks the same, with every new visit bringing a new insight into nature. Kopački rit is a mystical place where one returns to the unhindered fullness of life. READ MORE ->
The Manoel Theatre is one of the oldest working theatres in Europe. Constructed in 1731 by the Grand Master Antonio Manoel de Vilhena 'for the honest entertainment of the Knights' the theatre is a baroque gem with a wonderful acoustic and a full calendar of events populated by local and international performers, with productions in English and Maltese. The museum Beyond a purely theatrical visit, guided tours of the theatre and its museum are conducted daily. Lavish stage costumes are on display at the museum, along with antique sound-effects machines and archival programmes. READ MORE ->
The Canyon is like specially created by nature to protect the city from enemies. In the deep, narrow valley flows Smotrich, and the stone walls around it reach 50 meters. The length of this geological limestone formation is 9 km, the area is 80 hectares. Now the canyon has the status of a national monument of nature. In one part of the canyon, the geologist Verzhikivskyi in 1926 counted 111 varieties of fossil remains of the fauna ('Geological guide on the western side').
Büyük Han (Great Inn) was built in 1572 by the first Ottoman governor of Cyprus, Muzaffer Pasha. Its architecture is similar to numerous hans(inns) encountered in Anatolia (Turkey): a courtyard surrounded with rooms arranged on two floors. The lower rooms were used as shops, storage rooms and offices. The rooms on the upper floor served for lodging and each is fitted with a fireplace which has an octagonal chimney. In the middle of the courtyard there is a domed octagonal miniature mosque resting on eight columns with a fountain for ablutions under it. During the British rule, the Han was used as the Nicosia Central Prison. Later the Great Han was used as a builders' yard; a couple of years ago it was renovated and now it is a very lively place with shops, art/photo galleries and cafes.
Situated in South Thailand, Khao Sok was established as Thailand's 22nd national park in 1980 by The Royal Forest Department. The park covers 739 km² land area of Amphoe Phanom and Ban Takhun in Surat Thani province and includes the Cheow Lan reservoir dammed by the Ratchaprapha dam. The relatively convenient distance to Koh Samui, Phuket, Krabi and Khao Lak makes this park the most popular national park in South Thailand. READ MORE ->
For many Christian pilgrims to Jerusalem, the most important and meaningful thing they will do while in the city is walk the Via Dolorosa, the route that Jesus took between his condemnation by Pilate and his crucifixion and burial. The Via Dolorosa pilgrimage is followed by Christians of many denominations, but especially Catholics and Orthodox. The Via Dolorosa pilgrimage been followed since early Christianity, beginning as soon as it became safe to do so after Constantine legalized the religion (mid-4th century). Originally, Byzantine pilgrims followed a similar path to the one taken today, but did not stop along the way. Over the centuries, the route has changed several times. By the 8th century, the route had changed: beginning at the Garden of Gethsemane, pilgrims headed south to Mount Zion then doubled back around the Temple Mount to the Holy Sepulchre. The Middle Ages saw two rival routes, based on a split in the Latin Church: those with churches to the west went westward and those with churches in the east went eastward. From the 14th to 16th centuries, pilgrims followed the Franciscan route, which began at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and included eight stations. Around this time, the tradition of 14 Stations of the Cross was developing in Europe. To avoid disappointing European pilgrims, the difference was made up with the addition of six more stations. Today, the main route of the Via Dolorosa is that of the early Byzantine pilgrims, with 14 stations along the way. However, alternative routes are followed by those who have different opinions on the locations of various events. Anglicans believe Jesus would have been led north towards the Garden Tomb, while Dominican Catholics start from Herod's Palace near Jaffa Gate. For most pilgrims, however, the exact location of each event along the Via Dolorosa is of little importance; the pilgrimage has great meaning due to its proximity to the original events and the reflection upon them along the way. READ MORE ->