Religious tourism and pilgrimage
Jewish pilgrimage
“I was glad when they said to me ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord!’” (Psalm 122)
According to Judaism, the required thrice-yearly pilgrimage focuses on the Western Wall of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, as this is believed to be closest to the spot where the Holy of Holies of the First Temple was situated before its destruction. From the mid-19th century onwards, piety and messianic fervour spurred unprecedented numbers of Jews, from as far afield as Morocco and Russia, to visit and indeed settle in the Holy Land. A visit to Jerusalem was often combined with a tour of the wider region, taking in the Tombs of the Patriarchs – most importantly those of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – and those of the Matriarchs Sara, Leah and Rebecca, situated in Hebron. Visits to commemorative sites had great spiritual significance for believers, for as the Talmud explains, prayers at the graveside of someone who was holy during their lifetime have a greater chance of being accepted and bring blessings on both the supplicant and the deceased.
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Religious tourism and pilgrimage

Islamic pilgrimage
Christian pilgrimage
Jewish pilgrimage
Jews’ Place of Wailing, Jerusalem

1840s / early 1850s

Sharjah Art Museum / Sharjah Museums Department, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (Sharjah)

Drawn by William Henry Bartlett; engraved by Ebenezar Challis


The picture depicts the faithful at the Wailing Wall, the most sacred of sites according to Judaism. Situated at the foot of the western side of the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem, Jewish pilgrims, who have converged on this site for centuries, offer prayers and commemorate the destruction of the First Temple in 70 BCE.

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In this Exhibition
About the Exhibition
Royal and diplomatic visits
Religious tourism and pilgrimage
Exploration and research
Visiting and “revisiting” the Orient