Jerusalem is a city in Israel bordered by the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea, as well as the Judean Mountains.

Famously, Jerusalem is a city of heated tension and religious fervor. It is considered "the Holy City" by three of the world's dominant religions, Christians, Muslims, and Jews. All share claims to the city. Even its status as capitol of Israel is disputed. The country of Israel legally governs the city, and the State of Palestine operates from it.

It's first mention in history was in 19th Century BC.

In its long history, Jerusalem has been almost completely destroyed twice, held under siege 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times. It is one of the oldest cities in the world.

People Born in Jerusalem

Natalie Portman

Jerusalem in People's Lives

Gustave Flaubert: I traveled here in 1850, at the time a 28 year old writer looking for inspiration for a new book.

Marc Antony: I traveled on a military campaign outside this city in 56 BC, as chief of cavalry. I fought in the battle at Alexandrium, a fort a few miles from the city, which the Roman armies won. Years later, now ruler of the Roman Greek colonies, I invaded and captured this city in 37 BC, and appointed Herod the Great as King of Judea.

Mario Vargas Llosa: I frequently visited this city from 1976 - 1979 to speak at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Natalie Portman: I was born here in 1981, into a quite historically Jewish family. However, my multi-cultural parents named me after a famous French song, "Nathalie" by Gilbert Becaud. My maternal grandparents were Jewish immigrants from Austria and Russia, and my paternal grandparents were also Jewish. My great-grandparents were killed at Auschwitz, and my great-grandmother was a spy for British intelligence during World War II. Though my family moved away from this city to live in the United States in 1984, when I was three years old, I have often gone back throughout my life. In 2004, after graduating from Harvard University, I went to graduate school here at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. It is in this city that I feel I am truly at home, it is here that my heart is.

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