Picturesque Palestine I: Jerusalem, Judah and Ephraim

Of many works published by explorers of Palestine in the 19th century, none is as highly regarded as the lavishly illustrated and expertly written Picturesque Palestine, Sinai and Egypt. Edited by Charles Wilson and published in four volumes in 1881, this work captures the essence of the biblical lands in word and drawing, showing both ancient sites and native customs.

The descriptions of the regions were written by experts with an eye to presenting the land to those who would never have the opportunity to visit. This first-ever electronic edition includes the entirety of the original Volume 1, including 10 steel engravings, 140 wood engravings and 238 pages of text. Volume 1 includes these sections:


by Charles Wilson


Bethlehem and the North of Judea

by Henry B. Tristram


The Mountains of Judah and Ephraim

by Claude Conder

Complete Book: The entire book is included in a PDF file, as originally published. This is the essence (and most difficult to reproduce) of this project and is most recommended. The original publication is preserved exactly, with the original layout and pagination. Thus any references to this work in other sources can be found on the same page as in the original. In addition, the Acrobat file provides the user with the ability to search, copy text into other files, and print in high-resolution.

The first 7 pages of the Jerusalem section are available here in either high resolution (as in volume; 3 MB) or low resolution (300 kb - faster download; not as high print quality; possible font error).


PowerPoint Files: For ease of use, all of the illustrations are included in PowerPoint format. This makes it easy for the user to quickly copy and paste slides into their own PowerPoint presentations. For easy identification, each illustration includes the original caption in the "Speaker's Notes" section of the slide.

The Images: All images are high-resolution (1600 x 1200 or higher) jpeg files, ideal for projecting in a classroom, viewing on a monitor or printing. Click on one of the images below to see a medium-resolution version.

Jaffa Gate

Price: $20; or get all 4 volumes for $75; now $55

Guarantee: you will be satisfied or your money will be refunded.

Table of Contents



Situation of Jerusalem.—View from the Mount of Olives.—Walls and Gates of the City.—The Citadel.—Herod’s Palace.—Tower of David.—Tomb of David.—The Holy Sepulchre.—The “Holy Fire.”—The Via Dolorosa.—Markets, Bazaars, and Streets of Jerusalem.—The Temple Platform.—Excavations and Discoveries.—The Dome of the Rock.— Water Supply for the Temple.— Herod’s Temple.— Ancient Walls.— Garden of Gethsemane.—The Mount of Olives.—Church of the Ascension.—Bethphage.—Bethany.—Tomb of Lazarus.—The Road from Bethany to Jerusalem.—Siloam.—Cemeteries, Jewish, Christian, and Moslem.—Description of various kinds of Ancient Tombs.—Water Supply: Cisterns, Pools, and Aqueducts.—Population of Jerusalem.


From Jerusalem to Bethlehem.—Churches and Shrines of Bethlehem.—Women of Bethlehem.—Relic Makers.—To Urtas and Solomon’s Pools.—Valley and Caves of Khureitun.—To Jebel Fureidis.—Hermit Life.—Convent of Mar Saba.—The Kedron Valley.—The Dead Sea.—Cities of the Plain.—Ruins of Monasteries in the lower part of the Valley of the Jordan.—From Elijah’s Fountain to Mount Quarantania.—Ancient Aqueducts.—Jericho.—Fountain of ’Ain Dûk.—Passes of Benjamin.—To Michmash, Geba, Mizpeh, and Gibeon.

Robinson's Arch


Through the Pass of Beth-horon.—The Valley of Ajalon.—Site of Emmaus.—Through the “Gate of the Valley” to Abu Ghosh.—Kolonia and ’Ain Kârim, in the Wady Beit Hanîna.—The Valley of Roses.—Philip’s Fountain.—Anathoth.—From Jerusalem to Shechem by way of Beeroth, Bethel, Shiloh, and Lebonah.—Wady Deir Ballût.—The Boundary between Judæa and Samaria.—Oak-trees of Syria.—Mount Gerizim.—Sacred Tombs.—The Plain of Mukhnah.—Tomb of Phinehas.—Balâta.—Jacob’s Well.—Joseph’s Tomb.

Old City of Jerusalem and Hinnom Valley


List of Illustrations in the Volume


000 Dome of the Rock, title page.jpg

000 Jerusalem from Mt Scopus, frontispiece.jpg

001 Jaffa Gate.jpg

003 Citadel entrance.jpg

004b Jerusalem from Mt of Olives.jpg

005 Tower of David.jpg

008 Mount of Olives.jpg

009 South Slope of Olivet.jpg

010 Zion Gate.jpg

011 Tomb of David.jpg

013 Hezekiah's Pool from south.jpg

016 Holy Sepulcher Entrance.jpg

017 Holy Sepulcher Shrine.jpg

019 Chapel of Helena.jpg

021 Chapel Cave of the Cross.jpg

022 Pilgrims buying candles.jpg

024 Ecce Homo Arch.jpg

025 House of St Veronica.jpg

026 Houses of Rich and Poor.jpg

027 Shoemaker's shop.jpg

030 Mosque of Knights of the Crescent.jpg

032 Grocer's shop.jpg

033 Street Cafe.jpg

035 Entrance to Hospice of St John.jpg

037 Church of St John staircase.jpg

040 Street of Damascus Gate.jpg

041 Damascus Gate.jpg

043 Wailing Wall.jpg

044 Jewish Cotton Cleaner.jpg

045 Street of Gate of the Chain.jpg

048 Fountain of Gate of the Chain.jpg

049 Summer Pulpit, Platform of Dome of Rock.jpg

052 Northwest corner of Haram Esh Sherif.jpg

053 Oratories on Haram Esh Sherif.jpg

056 Cyprus Trees on Haram Esh Sherif.jpg

057 Golden Gate.jpg

059 Dome of the Rock interior.jpg

060 Cave under Dome of the Rock.jpg

061 Al Aqsa Facade.jpg

063 Platform of Dome of the Rock.jpg

066 Pool of Israel, Pool of Bethesda.jpg

067 Mt Scopus from St Stephen's Gate.jpg

069 Muslim Cemetery.jpg

071 Khan Ez Zait.jpg

072 Robinson's Arch.jpg

073 Hill of Evil Counsel.jpg

075 South Wall of Haram Esh Sherif.jpg

078 Upper Pool of Siloam.jpg

079 Lower Pool of Siloam.jpg

082 Jewish Cemetery in Valley of Jehoshaphat.jpg

083 Absalom's Pillar, Valley of Jehoshaphat.jpg

085 Siloam Village from St James Tomb.jpg

086 Garden of Gethsemane.jpg

087 Entrance to Chapel of Tomb of Virgin.jpg

089 Bethany.jpg

089 Exterior of Golden Gate.jpg

090 Mosque and Church of Ascension.jpg

091 Nebi Samwil from Mt of Olives.jpg

092 Traditional Bethphage.jpg

093 Part of the North Wall of Jerusalem.jpg

096 Quarries near Damascus Gate.jpg

097 Jeremiah's Grotto.jpg

098 Mt of Olives from Mt Zion.jpg

099 Kefr Et Tur, Village on Mt of Olives.jpg

102 Mamilla Pool.jpg

102 Valley of Hinnom from nw angle of wall.jpg

103 Rock Tombs north of Jerusalem.jpg

105 Citadel from Hinnom Valley.jpg

106 Saracenic Fountain.jpg

107 Mt of Offense from Valley of Hinnom.jpg

110 Aceldama.jpg

110 Summit of Hill of Evil Counsel.jpg

111 Hinnom Valley.jpg

114 Hinnom Valley Caves.jpg

115 Tophet, lower portion of Hinnom Valley.jpg

117 Jerusalem from south.jpg

120 Bir Eyub, Job's Well.jpg

121 Olive grove below Bir Eyub, Job's Well.jpg

Bethlehem and North of Judah

122a Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem.jpg

124 Shepherds' Field, from Bethlehem.jpg

125 In the Shepherds' Field, Bethlehem.jpg

126 Rachel's Tomb.jpg

127 External Stairway of a House at Bethlehem.jpg

128 Chapel of Nativity, St Mary, Bethlehem.jpg

129 Peasant's Home, with Manger.jpg

131 Bethlehem, from southwest.jpg

133 Mother of Pearl workers of Bethlehem.jpg

134 David's Well.jpg

135 The Milk Grotto, Bethlehem.jpg

137a Herodium from Bethlehem.jpg

137b View from Herodium.jpg

140 Valley of Urtas.jpg

143 Valley and Ruins of Khureitun, from Cave of Adullam.jpg

145 Pools of Solomon.jpg

147 The traditional Cave of Adullam, at Khureitun.jpg

148a Mar Saba, Valley of the Kedron.jpg

149 Balconies to monks' cells, Mar Saba.jpg

150 Entrance to the Cave of St Saba.jpg

152 Dead Sea and Mountains of Moab, from Mar Saba.jpg

153 St Saba's Palm Tree.jpg

155 Hermits' caves in the cliffs of the Kedron.jpg

158 Convent of Mar Saba, from Brook Kedron.jpg

159a Northern end of the Dead Sea.jpg

159b Kasr Hajla, ancient Beth Hogla.jpg

160a The Plains of Jericho, from west.jpg

162 Bathing place on the Jordan.jpg

163 Valley Jordan, from Convent of St John the Baptist.jpg

165 Banks of Jordan above Convent of St John the Baptist.jpg

167 Bit on the Plains of Jericho.jpg

168 Er Riha, The modern Jericho.jpg

169 Arch of an Aqueduct, over Wady Kelt, Plains of Jericho.jpg

172 Ain Es Sultan, The Sultan's Spring.jpg

173 Mount Quarantania, from the site of Jericho.jpg

175 Ruined Convent of St George.jpg

177 Ruins in Gorge of Wady Kelt, the Valley of Achor.jpg

182 Jeba', ancient Geba of Benjamin.jpg

183 Mukmas, ancient Michmash, in Wady Suweinit.jpg

185 Site of Ai.jpg

186 Summit of Neby Samwil.jpg

188 Taleil El Ful, from Neby Samwil.jpg

188a View from Nebi Samwil.jpg

189 The village of El Jib, ancient Gibeon of Benjamin.jpg

190 Neby Samwil, ancient Mizpeh, Watchtower of Benjamin.jpg

191 Beit 'Ur El Foka, on site of Upper Beth Horon.jpg

192 View from Upper Beth Horon.jpg

Mountains of Judah and Ephraim

193 Beit Ur Et Tahta, on site of Lower Beth Horon.jpg

195a View from ruins of mediaeval fortress, Latron.jpg

195b Valley of Ajalon, from west.jpg

198 Soba, from Jerusalem road.jpg

199 Kuryet El 'Anab, the Village of Grapes.jpg

200a Threshing corn.jpg

202 Kolonia, and Wady Beit Hanina.jpg

203 Mosque of the Fountain, 'Ain Karim.jpg

205 Franciscan Monastery, Church of St John at 'Ain Karim.jpg

207 Well of Zacharias and Elisabeth, 'Ain Karim.jpg

209 Altar of Church of St John, 'Ain Karim.jpg

210 'Ain Haniyeh, in the Valley of the Roads.jpg

211 'Anata, on the site of Anathoth.jpg

213 Sh'afat at Nob, the City of the Priests.jpg

214 Mosque and tomb at Er Ram, the Ramah of Benjamin.jpg

215 Ruins of Crusaders' church at El Bireh, Ancient Beeroth.jpg

216 Halt for the night, Khan of El Bireh, Ancient Beeroth.jpg

217 Beitin, ancient Bethel.jpg

219 Remains of a church at Beitin.jpg

222 The village of Taiyibeh from the Heights of Rumman.jpg

223 Wady El Jib.jpg

225 Seilun, on the site of Shiloh.jpg

226 Doorway at Shiloh, Convent Castle, in Wady Lubban.jpg

227 A threshing floor.jpg

230 Jacob's Well, at the foot of Mount Gerizim.jpg

231 Joseph's tomb.jpg

234 Ruins of summit of Mount Gerizim, at Samaritan Temple.jpg

237 The village of Salim.jpg

238 Tomb of Phinehas.jpg

"I just wanted to say thank you for putting together such a great tool like Picturesque Palestine; I used it quite a bit in [a recent] presentation. I wanted to show people the drastic difference between Israel now and then particularly in the area of Jerusalem. People, I think, still picture Jerusalem as they think it was in the first century. They ask me, "What was it like to 'see' the places that so much Biblical history happened?" Picturesque Palestine enables me to not only tell of the difference but also illustrate what I mean when I say, "It's not the same as it used to be." And while I know that 1880 AD is not the same as 27 AD, it is a whole lot closer to what it was like than what it is today."

—Kyle Patterson