The Mount of Olives

The Mount of Olives

The Mount with Many Views: 5 Must-see Views from the Top of the Mount of Olives

1) The Old City of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount


The Mount of Olives, with its tallest peak at 818 meters, is located along a mountain ridge to the east of the Old City of Jerusalem. Thus, looking to the west there is an incredible view of the Old City and the Temple Mount. This mount played a significant role in the last week of Jesus’ earthly life. It was from the Mount of Olives that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the back of a colt and wept over the city (see Matthew 21:1-11 and Luke 19:28-44). It was also on the Mount of Olives that Jesus spoke to his disciples, it was the place to where Jesus and his disciples retreated following what is known as the Last Supper, and it was from here that they entered the Garden of Gethsemane (see Matthew 24-26:36).

2) The Kidron Valley


Between the Mount of Olives and the Old City lies the Kidron Valley. According to John 18:1, Jesus and his disciples crossed the Kidron Valley on their way to the Garden of Gethsemane. This valley contains a large number of rock-hewn tombs dating to the Second Temple Period.

3) The Judean Desert 

Turning to the east from the top of the mount you notice that the landscape is vastly different as you see the Judean Desert beginning on the eastern side of the mountain ridge.

4) Mount Scopus

Turning toward the north you can see Mount Scopus, the tallest of the 3 peaks along this mountain ridge standing at 826 meters. The Hebrew University sits atop Mount Scopus.

5) The Garden of Gethsemane


Looking down at the slope of the mount you will see the olive trees which have grown there for thousands of years and from which the mount derives its name. The Garden of Gethsemane, with its huge olive trees, sits at the western foot of the Mount of Olives. The Garden of Gethsemane is the place where Jesus took his disciples and asked Peter, James and John to stay awake with him while he prayed. It is the place where Jesus prayed “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want” (Matthew 26:36-46 NRSV). It is the place where Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss and handed him over to the chief priests and the people (Matthew 26:47-50).