Remembering Sept. 11

Remember and reflect on the events of Sept. 11, 2001, at the NYC, Pentagon and Flight 93 national memorials.

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Dome of the Rock
Dome of the Rock

Dome of the Rock

Women ascend the steps to the Dome of the Rock. Built more than 1,300 years ago, the shrine stands as Islam’s third-holiest site. Competing religious beliefs make it the world’s most hotly debated piece of land. At its center is the Foundation Stone -- the spot where believers say Mohammad ascended to heaven; and where, for Jewish believers, the ancient Temple’s Holy of Holies stood. 960 1280

Lisa Singh  

Old City of Jerusalem

Old City of Jerusalem

A mix of old and new architecture, the big standout of the Jerusalem skyline is the golden roof of the Dome of the Rock. Over the millennia the city has fallen under various hands (Jewish, Babylonian, Roman, Christian, Muslim); its current walls were built in the 1500s by Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. Naturally, with so many competing histories, fueled by impassioned belief, the question of who owns what is never far behind. 960 1280

Lisa Singh  

Jerusalem's Best Hummus?

Jerusalem's Best Hummus?

You decide at Abu Shurki. This “hummusiyya” (hummus restaurant), located at the intersection of Via Dolorosa and al-Wad road in East Jerusalem, has been operating as a family business for the past 6 decades. Its hummus has been praised by locals and international media alike for being some of the city's best. 960 1280

Lisa Singh  

Ben Yehuda Street

Ben Yehuda Street

In the heart of downtown Jerusalem, Ben Yehuda is the major street to see. Closed to vehicles, the street is home to souvenir shops, pizzerias, cafes and street musicians -- like this man, jamming to the beat of his spiritual hero, the 18th-century Nachman of Breslov, of Ukraine. The street itself is named for Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, the founder of Modern Hebrew. 960 1280

Lisa Singh  

Damascus Gate

Damascus Gate

Enter the bustle of Jerusalem’s Old City through Damascus Gate. The gate, in its current form, was built in the 1537, under the rule of Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Suleiman the Magnificent. The gate is built upon the remains of an earlier structure, constructed in the 2nd century, under the rule of Roman Emperor Hadrian. 960 1280

Lisa Singh  

Going the Same Way?

Going the Same Way?

Israel’s diverse panoply of Jewish life is often visible in everyday moments. Here, an Ultra-Orthodox man looks to one side, and Israeli soldiers to another, as they all wait for a rail line. Unlike other segments of Jewish society, Israel’s ultra-orthodox, known as haredim, do not serve in the military, leading to considerable debate within the country and beyond. 960 1280

Lisa Singh  

The Western Wall

The Western Wall

Cover up! Located in the Old City of Jerusalem, the Western Wall, or “Kotel” in Hebrew, is a remnant of the ancient wall that surrounded the Jewish Temple’s courtyard. For 2,000 years this wall has endured as a place where seekers come to offer prayers, slipping notes between its ancient stones. Before you approach the wall, Orthodox practitioners may kindly help you cover up. 960 1280

Lisa Singh  

First Station Complex

First Station Complex

High-five! A young mother enjoys a Sunday afternoon with her sons at First Station Complex. Located on the grounds of Jerusalem’s original railway station (closed for good in 1998) this entertainment hub is one of the city’s top places for food and culture, with attractions like farmers’ markets, a designer’s fair and plenty of kiddie fun. 960 1280

Lisa Singh  

Jerusalem Light Rail

Jerusalem Light Rail

Staking its claim as a 21st-century city, Jerusalem is now home to a light rail line. The line was completed in 2010, following 8 years of construction (and accompanying debate over possible damage to archaeological finds, most notably a Roman-Jewish settlement, dating to 70 C.E.). Today, the line spans nearly 9 miles, and trains operate at a speed of 50 mph. 960 1280

Lisa Singh  

Mahane Yehuda Market

Mahane Yehuda Market

Friday mornings are the time to see Mahane Yehuda in action. This bustling marketplace, known as “The Shuk,” is home to more than 250 vendors selling fresh fruits, vegetables, wines, nuts, breads and pastries like rugelach, pictured. Families load up bags with produce, then head home to prepare it all for the Sabbath. As the sun sets, streets fall empty and quiet; it's a vibe you won't find anywhere else in the world on a Friday evening. 960 1280

Lisa Singh  

Schindler’s List

Schindler’s List

Just outside the walls of the Old City, on a hill known as Mount Zion, is the final resting place of Oskar Schindler. The German industrialist who saved 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust, or “Shoah,” in Hebrew, was laid to rest here in 1974; a tree is also planted in Schindler and his wife’s honor at Yad Vashem, Israel’s national memorial to the two-thirds of European Jews who perished in the Holocaust. 960 1280

Lisa Singh  

Tomb of the Prophets

Tomb of the Prophets

Behind this unassuming gate lies the Tomb of the Prophets. Located on the Mount of Olives, the catacomb that lies below is, according to Jewish and Christian Biblical traditions, the final resting place of the ancient prophets Haggai and Zechariah. A local guide, Jamil, has the key to the gate; he’ll let you in, and light candles for a photo-op below, but a gratuity is appreciated. 960 1280

Lisa Singh  

Chapel of the Ascension

Chapel of the Ascension

A woman rests her hand in one of Christianity’s holiest sites – the right footprint of Christ. Located on the Mount of Olives, Ascension Rock, as it’s called, is found within the Chapel of the Ascension. First built in 390 A.D. and again in 1150 A.D., the chapel houses the exact spot where, according to Christian tradition, the incarnate Christ last touched the Earth before ascending to heaven. 960 1280

Lisa Singh  

Church of the Holy Sepulcher

Church of the Holy Sepulcher

Light shines through the dome of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Cherished by believers as the spot where Jesus was crucified, the church has been one of the most important pilgrimages for Christians for at least 1,500 years. Today, the church serves as the headquarters of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, signifying the important role the Eastern Orthodox Church plays in preserving Jerusalem's Christian heritage. 960 1280

Lisa Singh  

Mount of Olives

Mount of Olives

Orthodox Jewish men pray at the grave of a spiritual leader. The grave is among the 150,000 found on the Mount of Olives. In ancient times, olive groves covered this mountain ridge overlooking Jerusalem’s Old City. Among the graves is that of Shlomo Goren, one of Israel’s leading rabbis of his day, who blew a ram’s horn at the Western Wall following the capture of East Jerusalem in 1967. 960 1280

Lisa Singh  

Bloomfield Park

Bloomfield Park

In a city where divisions are sometimes palpable, this West Jerusalem park offers an unexpected reprieve. Here, Jewish and Arab children splash around in a shared fountain -- the Lions’ Fountain, as it's called, which was a gift from Germany in 1989. Catching a glimpse of this moment makes any trip to Jerusalem worth it. 960 1280

Lisa Singh  

Angkor’s “Great City”
Angkor’s “Great City”

Angkor’s “Great City”

To enter Angkor’s “Great City,” known as Angkor Thom, visitors must cross a bridge lined by a series of stone figures, representing good and evil. On the left side are 54 protector gods and on the right, 54 demon gods, playing out an ancient Hindu myth. Angkor Thom’s South Gate is one of the best preserved of this site’s entrances. 960 1280

Robin Bennefield   

Terrace of the Elephants

Terrace of the Elephants

These stone elephants have seen centuries of Khmer kingdom pomp and circumstance, serving as the base of the 382-yard-long Terrace of the Elephants. The terrace was the king’s viewing stand for public ceremonies and military victory parades, featuring infantry, cavalry, horse-drawn carriages and elephants, of course. 960 1280

Robin Bennefield  

Banteay Srei

Banteay Srei

There are some temples on the outskirts of the main Angkor Wat temple complex, and Banteay Srei is an amazingly well-preserved one. Its strong, pink-hued sandstone base could be one of the reasons, along with the fact that it was the first Angkor temple to undergo restoration. Banteay Srei means “Citadel of the Women,” and some believe only a woman could have carved its delicate wall reliefs. 960 1280

Robin Bennefield  

Main Angkor Wat Temple

Main Angkor Wat Temple

An aerial view shows the grand expanse of the main Angkor Wat temple, demonstrating the meaning of its name, “temple that is a city.” It is also the largest religious building in the world -- at a staggering 11,000,000 square feet. The temple is a formidable fortress, surrounded by a 623-foot-wide moat and an outer wall measuring over 3,300 feet by 2,600 feet tall. Inscriptions inside the temple suggest that its construction took 300,000 workers and 6,000 elephants. 960 1280

Robin Bennefield  

Ta Prohm

Ta Prohm

While some temples at Angkor Wat are almost perfectly preserved, others have been taken over by Mother Nature -- like Ta Prohm, making it one of the most hauntingly beautiful of all the temples. Tree roots and toppled stones intermingle at this site, which was once a Buddhist temple dedicated to a Khmer king’s mother. 960 1280

Robin Bennefield  

Lara Croft Was Here

Lara Croft Was Here

Ta Prohm is also one of the most popular temples at Angkor Wat because of its star turn in the movie Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, starring Angelina Jolie. Crowds gather to take photos in front of the “Tomb Raider tree,” on the very spot where Lara Croft picks a flower before dramatically falling through the earth. 960 1280

Robin Bennefield  

Angkor Thom South Gate

Angkor Thom South Gate

The Angkor Thom South Gate is a popular tourist entrance on the way to see some of Angkor’s most important temple sites and monuments, including the magnificent multifaceted Bayon temple and the Terrace of Elephants. 960 1280

Robin Bennefield  

Thommanon

Thommanon

Thommanon is one of the smaller temples within the gates of Angkor Thom. Built in the mid-12th century and dedicated to the Hindu gods Shiva and Vishnu, it is almost a perfect match with the neighboring temple Chau Say Tevoda. 960 1280

Robin Bennefield  

Cambodia’s Cultural Pride

Cambodia’s Cultural Pride

According to UNESCO, Angkor Wat is one of the most important archeological sites in Southeast Asia, providing a lasting example of a powerful Khmer civilization and its cultural, religious and symbolic significance. For Cambodians, Angkor Wat still holds as much cultural pride as it must have during the height of the Khmer Empire, from the 9th through the 15th century. 960 1280

Robin Bennefield  

Tribute to Vishnu

Tribute to Vishnu

The Khmer King Suryavarman II identified with the Hindu god Vishnu and built the Angkor Wat temple city as a glorious tribute to him. This statue of Vishnu found in the southern tower of the temple has 8 arms instead of 4 to better protect the universe. The city itself is an earthly replica of heaven according to the Hindu faith; it could also have been built to be the king’s final resting place. 960 1280

Robin Bennefield  

Blessings to Buddha

Blessings to Buddha

While the temples of Angkor were originally built to worship Hindu gods, Buddhas were later added as Buddhism became the popular religion. Buddhist monks and worshippers visit the temples today to light incense and offer blessings to these Buddha replicas. 960 1280

Robin Bennefield  

Chau Say Tevoda

Chau Say Tevoda

The same king who designed the main Angkor Wat temple also designed Chau Say Tevoda, located within the walls of Angkor Thom a few miles away. It is almost symmetrical with the Thommanon Temple just across the road. 960 1280

Robin Bennefield  

Angkor’s Enigmatic Faces

Angkor’s Enigmatic Faces

These gigantic, enigmatic faces greet Angkor visitors atop the Angkor Thom South Gate; they also seem to multiply atop the 37 remaining towers of the Bayon temple nearby, with each tower featuring 4 faces for a total of 148 looming visages staring out over a vast, ancient Khmer empire. 960 1280

Robin Bennefield  

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