This sanctity of Mount Zion to all faiths can be seen from afar in its monuments, prominent on the Jerusalem skyline. But the significance of this hill just south of Jerusalem’s Old City walls begins with its name: Zion is one of the Bible’s earliest names for Jerusalem, mentioned when David first established the city (2 Sam. 5:7) as his capital. In fact, the ancient Tomb of David on Mount Zion has been a place of pilgrimage for centuries. The building that houses it has served over time as a church, a mosque, and now a synagogue honoring King David, the “sweet singer of Israel” and the ancestor of the Messiah.
In another part of this ancient complex is the Upper Room, where Christian tradition marks the Last Supper (Matt. 26:18–35) and the events of Pentecost (Acts 2:1–4).
Across from it is the Dormition Abbey, built in 1898 by the German Benedictines, with a triangular roof that is a city landmark. This is the place where Catholic tradition marks the Assumption of Mary to Heaven. The church sanctuary is not only spiritually inspiring; it is the venue for special concerts that attract Jerusalemites of all faiths.
One of the Old City’s eight gates, the Zion Gate, opens onto Mount Zion. On a segment of the Ramparts Walk that begins at the Tower of David Museum visitors get a fascinating birds-eye view of Mount Zion, and can then descend at Zion Gate to visit its sites.