The Gethsemane Garden on the Mount of Olives

The Gethsemane garden is located at the lower part of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. It is considered a sacred place in Christianity, since this is the place in which Jesus spent the last night before his crucifixion – and after having the Last Supper. 

Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, 1824-27
Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane
Eugene Delacroix
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The word "Gethsemane" is derived from the Aramaic and Hebrew Gat Shemanim, which simply means "oil press."

And indeed there are plenty of (very old) olive trees in the garden – out of which you can prepare olive oil – which has been the oil of choice in the area for thousands of years. The olive trees in the garden are probably hundreds of years old and it is likely that those were shoots from the trees that were there during the time of Jesus.

Genuine Olive Wood Gifts from Israel

Speaking of olive trees, I found an Israeli company (Jerusalem Export House) that sells a variety of unique Christian gifts - all handmade in Bethlehem from olivewood. These guys are the real deal and each sale benefits Christian families who live in Bethlehem. If you can't make it to the Holy Land yourself, then you should at least own a piece of it... Here is an example of just one of their gorgeous hand-crafted products:

13 Piece Olive Wood Nativity Set

The Jerusalem Export House

You can find more of their beautiful olivewood gifts on their website.

Back to the garden: the Gethsemane garden has been a pilgrimage site for about 1,700 years. It is right next to the Church of All Nations, also known as the Basilica of Agony. Not too far and also on the Mount of Olives is the Russian church of St. Mary Magdalena (zoom in a bit here to see this church) and the Dominus Flevit.

Here is a map of the area:

View Larger Map

And finally, here is a beautiful video I found showing the garden. It's a bit of a long video (a slideshow really) but it's accompanied by some great music and the pictures really show the peacefulness of the ancient biblical garden and the beauty of its ancient olive trees and other flora...

So there you go - the Garden of Gethsemane - hope you see it soon!

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