The Legend of The Olive Tree Hotel
Not far from the
walls of the Old City of Jerusalem,
approaching Damascus Gate, stands an ancient
mighty olive tree. It is over two thousand years old,
yet its evergreen foliage is as thick as any young tree,
casting its protective shade all year round.
Ancient legend has it that King David rested in its
shade, and ever since then anyone who finds respite
under the silver-leafed branches, who finds comfort in
the twisting roots and solid trunk, can hear the strings
of King David's violin playing enchanting music.
Convoys of pilgrims made it their last stop before
entering the city, and on their departure would carry
in their heart the image of the old olive tree as a message of peace and good fortune from the
An orchard was planted around the olive tree,
with grapevines, palm, fig, almond and more olive
trees, as well as fragrant jasmine and lavender
bushes, spices and herbs.
Next to the orchard was a well of fresh cool water
for the weary and thirsty.
A busy marketplace - a "suq" - sprang to life near
the orchard, where merchants set up stalls laden with
fruit from Jericho, vegetables from the coastal plains,
silk cloth from the Far East, as well as local pottery
and jars of olive oil, fruit of the mighty olive tree.
With time, a guest house and eating place was built
around the suq, as well as stables for the horses
and rest places for the camels and the place was
named the Olive Tree Inn.
In time, the inn was surrounded by a wall, with a
massive gate upon which God's blessing for the weary travelers was engraved. Next to the eating place,
a round tower was erected and climbing to the top,
guests could watch the golden sunsets reflect and
sparkle on the walls of the City of Jerusalem.
For hundreds of years the Olive Tree Inn hosted
pilgrims from around the world who had come to
the City of Peace - Jerusalem.
Within its walls, sons of God found respite and
tranquility, enjoying the peaceful atmosphere exuded
by the old olive tree.
And then, dark clouds covered the land. The Olive
Tree Inn was deserted, its walls were torn down,
and only the mighty olive tree remained in its place -
a reminder and symbol of hopes.
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