The hills of the Mount of Olives have served from time immemorial as the eastern border of ancient Jerusalem, forming a clear partition that separates the city from the edge of the Judean Desert.
The Mount of Olives is one of the most prominent sites in the Jerusalem vicinity mentioned in the Holy Scriptures. It is first mentioned as King David's escape route during the rebellion of his son Absalom, then later in the prophets; but it is most often referred to in the New Testament, being the route from Jerusalem to Bethany and a favorite location for Jesus' teaching to his pupils and where he wept over Jerusalem.
Here, the Dominus Flevit Church was built by the Franciscan order in 1954 to designs by A. Barluzzi in the shape of a tear atop remains of a Byzantine church.
At the foot of the mountain, adjacent to the Church of All Nations, stands the Gardens of Gethsemane, in which one finds the golden turreted Russian Orthodox Church of Maria Magdalene.
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