The Biblical Mount Zion is located in the city of Jerusalem. It is known as Mount Sion, the Upper City, or as the Southwestern Hill. Mount Zion is important because several historically significant events are believed to have taken place on Mt. Zion. This article will explore the different places the Mount Zion referred to throughout history as well as the historical and religious significance of Mt. Zion.
Mount Zion is the highest point in Ancient Jerusalem. There are three historically and religiously significant places that you should visit near Mount Zion. These places are Kind David’s Tomb, The Site of The Last Supper, and Dormition Abbey.
Where is Mount Zion Located?
Current day Mount Zion, often referred to Mt. Sion in the Old Testament, is located in Ancient Jerusalem on the Western Hill, which is a large hill located south of Old City’s Armenian Quarter. The name “Mt. Zion” referred to three different locations throughout history. Mount Zion shifted locations depending on what the people regarded as the central point of Biblical Jerusalem according to the site most appropriate during their own time.
Lower Eastern Hill (City of David)
During the period of the Old Testament, Mt. Zion referred to the Eastern fortress that King David captured from the Jebusites in the 10th century BC. After capturing the lower Eastern hill, Kind David Mt. Zion as the Royal Capital. King David rebuilt the city and named it “City of David,” he also built his Palace on the lower Eastern Hill.
Upper Eastern Hill (Temple Mount)
After Solomon built his Temple, people began calling the location of the new temple Mount Zion. The First Temple was built at the Top of the Eastern Hill and the name Mount Zion followed the newly built Temple. The Mount Zion that’s referred to in the Books of Isaiah and the Book of Psalms seems to be the Mount Zion that’s located on the top of the Eastern Hill and is known as the Temple Mount. The First Temple is also referred to as the “Temple in Jerusalem) and it is located in the Old City of Jerusalem close to the Dome of the Rock and Alaqsa Mosque.
Western Hill (Modern Day Mount Zion)
The name Mount Zion made its last shift to the Western Hill where it is located today. The name shifted after the Romans destroyed the City of Jerusalem in 70 CE. The current location of Mt. Zion is just across the Tyropoeon Valley from the Eastern Hill.
Dormition Abbey Jerusalem
The Abbey of the Dormoition is located at the top of the Modern Day Mount Zion. Dormition Abbey was constructed by Kaiser Wilhelm II in the 1900s, Kaiser purchased the land on Mt. Zion and sought the aid of the German Association of the Holy Land to fund the building of Dormition Abbey. Kaiser constructed the Dormition of Abbey as a response to have a German Catholic Church in the city.
Tomb of King David
The Tomb of King David is located on Mt. Zion close to the Abbey of the Dormition. Before Israel occupied the Old City of Jerusalem, the area was under the Jordanian occupation and David’s Tomb was formerly a mosque. However, after Israel occupied the territory it converted the mosque into a synagogue.
The Old Testament clearly states that King David’s burial site was somewhere other than what’s considered as the Tomb of King David today. The site of the King David Tomb is directly under the Cenacle. The Cenacle is the location where Jesus has The Last Supper with his disciples. The Cenacle is located at the second floor of a two story building near the Church of Dormition.
Room of the Last Supper
The Room of The Last Supper is commonly known as the Upper Room. Christians often refer to this room as The Cenacle. Some believe that the disciples of Jesus stayed in this room when they were in Jerusalem.
Christians believe that The Last Supper took place the night before Jesus died and was crucified while Muslims believe that Jesus was not killed nor was he crucified and that Allah (God) raised Jesus to himself because killing Jesus was unfitting for a holy man.
Despite the differences between what Christians and Muslims believe happened, both believe in the oneness of God and that Jesus had a special relationship with God.
That said, the site of the Tomb of David still remains as a place of pilgrimage for Christians, Muslims, and Jews. However, today the site is visited mainly be Jews because it’s run as a synagogue. If you ever get the chance to visit David’s Tomb, you will notice that David’s tomb is located at the center of the room and Jews have covered his tomb with a cloth with Hebrew writing.
Mt. Zion Conclusion
We hope that this article was able to shed some light as to the changing location of Mount Zion throughout history. There are three significant places that every pilgrim should visit when travelling to Mt. Zion, such as The Dormition of Abbey, Kind David’s Tomb, and the Cenacle. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them in the comments section below.