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The Russian Orthodox Tower and Church of the Ascension

The Tower of the Ascension, high atop the Mount of Olives, can be seen for miles around in any direction.

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The Tower of the Ascension, high atop the Mount of Olives, can be seen for miles around in any direction, and marks the site where Jesus ascended to Heaven (Luke 24:50-51; Acts 1:9).

It stands in the midst of a small grove of fir and olive trees on the top of the mountain just off the main road north of the Mount of Olives lookout.
For many years, few Russian Christians visited this shrine built more than a century ago by the Russian Orthodox, but now they flock here once again.

The paintings in one of the two small chapels, done by nuns a hundred years ago, have been lovingly restored. A garden plaza with a sweeping wilderness vista is a quiet gathering place. The six-storey tower, with a fabulous view of Jerusalem and the Judean Desert is open only on Ascension Day, 40 days after Easter.

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