Mount Scopus is located in the north of the city and is the home of the Hebrew University. It is often missed by tourists unless they happen to be staying in the area – which is a shame as it has some stunning views and a sharp contrast between urban development going back more than 3000 years and raw desert all from the same viewpoint.
Mount Scopus is also known as Har Tsofim (literally meaning “lookout mount” in Hebrew) and it rises 826 meters (2,709 feet) above sea level in northeast Jerusalem. It is a part of a ridge of mountains, which includes the Mount of Olives. If you want to get the best views of Jerusalem, Mount Scopus is one of the places to experience it. Mount Scopus deserves its name and place to enjoy breathtaking views of Jerusalem, particularly from promenade (“tayelet”).
The landmarks on Mount Scopus
The Hebrew University is earlier mentioned oin this article — it was built on Mount Scopus in 1918. Today, the university is one of the prominent and respected research institute in the country and it is also the site of a national library.
The university campus contains a synagogue, Hecht Synagogue, where visitors can get some of the best views of Jerusalem’s Old City.
The university’s northern part is also the site of National Botanic Garden of Israel — the country’s first-ever botanical garden, having been established in 1931. It boasts the largest collection of plants found in Israel.
The National Botanic Garden of Israel also contains the ancient burial cave, the Cave of Nicanor. Among the ossuaries discovered in the cave is one with the inscription referring to “Nicanor the door maker.” Nicanor, who belonged to a wealthy Alexandrian Jewish family, built the gates on the First Temple in Jerusalem.
Another landmark on Mount Scopus is the Tabachnik Garden, a national park located next to Hebrew University. It preserves several ancient Jewish burial caves from the Second Temple period and two small modern cemeteries.
The Jerusalem British War Cemetery is another one of the landmarks on Mount Scopus. It is a military cemetery for the fallen British Empire soldiers who fought in Israel (then Palestine) during World War I.
The Jerusalem American Colony Cemetery – the main cemetery of Jerusalem’s American Colony, one of the two modern cemeteries of Tabachnik Garden.
Bentwich Cemetery – named after Herbert Bentwich, a British Zionist leader and lawyer, and his family. It is another one of the two modern cemeteries of Tabachnik Garden, just beside the Jerusalem American Colony Cemetery.
The Belazel Academy of Arts and Design, also located on the Hebrew University campus in Mount Scopus, is an academic college of design and art established in 1906. It is the oldest institution of higher education in present-day Israel.
The Hadassah Medical Center on Mount Scopus – this is not to be confused with the Hadassah Medical Center in Ein Kerem, with the famous Chagall windows. It opened in 1939 after five years of construction (side trivia: American actress Natalie Portman was born in the Hadassah hospital on Mount Scopus).