Perhaps one of the best places in Jerusalem to take in a stunning, panoramic view of the city, is here in East Jerusalem on Mount Scopus. Located 834 meters above sea level, on a clear day it is possible to see both the Dome of the Rock as well as the Dead Sea. From here you can see Jerusalem’s rolling hills, eclectic neighborhoods and even the new skyscrapers being built in the Western part of Jerusalem. The direct English translation of the name Mount Scopus is “Mount of Spectators”; an accurate description as Mount Scopus has a long military history and was used as a strategic lookout.
The main campus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is located on Mount Scopus. The Hebrew University was opened in 1925, and was the first university to have its subjects taught entirely in Hebrew. In 1939, Hadassah Medical Center was opened adjacent to the University. Today the hospital is considered to be one of the best teaching hospitals in Israel, and leads the world in medical technology and patient care.
In 1948 when the British retreated, Mount Scopus became a demilitarize zone and was subsequently separated from the rest of Jerusalem. It fell into Jordan control and was only reunified with the western parts of Jerusalem after 1967’s Sixth-Day War.
Today, Mount Scopus is home to a diverse population. Because of the University and hospital, many students live here—including internationals who come on exchange programs. As the surrounding neighborhoods have a religious character, it is possible to see very modestly dressed men and women. Also in the immediate vicinity, are numerous neighborhoods and villages belonging to the Arab population.