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The Wailing Wall

The Wailing Wall
Paul Robert

Jerusalem is sacred to three great world faiths. For centuries the followers of Islam, Judaism and Christianity have prayed, mingled and clashed here. Paul Robert has captured just a few of those scenes in this fascinating photo feature.

Pictured here, men attend sabbath prayers at the Western or ‘wailing’ Wall of the Temple Mount. The women’s section is behind the curtain on the right.

Valley Street, inside

Valley Street, inside
Paul Robert

Students study and discuss religious texts in the study room of a Jewish religious school on Valley Street. The 19th-century school was abandoned after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, but was reinstated when Israel occupied Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War.

Valley Street, outside

Valley Street, outside
Paul Robert

Tensions are always tangible on 650-metre-long Valley Street, where heavily armed members of the Israeli border police maintain order and patrol between police posts placed within eyeshot of each other.

Valley Street and Via Dolorosa

Valley Street and Via Dolorosa
Paul Robert

Valley Street and Via Dolorosa run together here, at the fourth stage in the Stations of the Cross. Tradition says it’s where Christ met his mother as he carried his cross to the place of his crucifixion. The golden cupola is the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount, from where Prophet Muhammad is believed to have ascended on his night journey to heaven.

Dome of the Rock

Dome of the Rock
Paul Robert

Two Palestinian women converse outside the bronze doors of the Dome of the Rock. During the week, the holy complex around the dome is an oasis where Muslims pray, study the Quran, or simply escape the noise and bustle of the old city.

Temple Mount

Temple Mount
Paul Robert

On Fridays, tens of thousands of Muslims enter the Temple Mount complex to attend the weekly sermons and prayers. Hours after their departure, the Jewish sabbath begins, and Orthodox Jews pass Valley Street on their way to the Western Wall of the Temple Mount.

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Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Paul Robert

Overcome with emotion, a woman worships near the entrance to the tomb of Christ in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, believed to encompass the site of the crucifixion and the tomb from which he is said to have arisen.

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