Mount of Olives has been Jerusalem’s eastern border since the time of King David. Other than that, you get the best view in Israel from there.
The Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives is the oldest Jewish cemetery in the world, and it is still in use today. People have been buried there over a period of 3,000 years. According to tradition, this is where the Messiah will come on the Day of Judgment and this is where the dead will be resurrected.
People buried on the Mount of Olives are exempt from the ritual of atonement that those buried elsewhere must undergo. All those buried on the Mount of Olives have their feet facing the Temple Mount in order to make it easier for them to walk over to the Temple that will be built there.
The Mount of Olives was already mentioned in the days of the Bible as being the place from which the resurrection would begin, and indeed, in the Book of Zechariah, chapter 24 it says:
“Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley… And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.”
In the Byzantine era, the Jews were prohibited from entering Jerusalem, and the Temple Mount was abandoned. Once a year, on the seventh day of the Feast of Tabernacles, the Jews circled the Mount seven times and they slaughtered and burned the Red Heifer here in the days of the Temple.
It is to the Mount of Olives that Jesus came after his resurrection and from there that he rose to the sky after 40 days of wandering the Holy Land. There are, by the way, 5 spots on the Mount of Olives that are considered to be the place from which he ascended to heaven.
The Muslims believe that a bridge with seven arches will be suspended from the Mount of Olives to the Temple Mount.
The Mount of Olives is considered the most important of all in Christian tradition. Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a white donkey in the last week of his life before he was crucified, and spend most of his time on the Mount of Olives. He came back there after the Last Supper and it was there that he was arrested by the Roman soldiers. He sat and wept over the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple on the spot where the Dominus Flevit Church now stands. In Luke 19, it is written:
“And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine aenemies shall cast a btrench about thee, and ccompass thee round, and keep thee in on every side”
The bridge will be narrower than a hair and the resurrected will walk across it. The righteous will go to heaven and those who have sinned will fall off the bridge into hell. The Seven Arches Hotel on the Mount of Olives (formerly the Intercontinental Hotel), whose name hints at that Muslim belief, is the only hotel that was built in Jerusalem during Jordanian rule between 1948 and 1967.