Holy Holy Land!

2009.Feb.03 Tuesday · 1 comment

in Life

“This holy land, this semi-Eden, was supposed to be spotless, a serious equivalent of Disneyland in which not a single candy wrapper is to stay on the ground for more than a few minutes.”

– Marvin Olasky, Journalism Professor

Entrance to Tierra Santa

Buenos Aires – Somewhere along the line after the big Shawarma Chronicles series, I forgot to go back and tell you a bit more about Tierra Santa, or as it is sometimes referred to among the expat community, the Jesus Park… which is an unfair summation, I mean, no more than, 98.5% of the park is about Jesus….

Old Testament walk

There is, for example, immediately on entering, a long tunnel to walk through that covers the Old Testament… Creation, Creation of Man and Woman, Abraham, Moses, the Prophets, Mary, Joseph and Mary go to Bethlehem… oh wait, we got through the old testament pretty quickly there. But then, there’s a spot to sit and relax a bit after plowing through centuries of history in two minutes… a ten minute light, smoke and sound show (without a single moving part) that covers the birth of Jesus, and no, we’re sorry, you can’t pass this up, we won’t open the doors to let you in to the park until after you’ve watched the espectaculo

The corner of multi-religions

And just on the other side we find ourselves in a playground-ish mockup of old Jerusalem, with narrow streets and oh wait, there’s Jesus and his friends coming along, but hey, if you can get around them (well, they’re immobile statues)…

Synagogue mockup

there’s a mockup of a synagogue, a mosque, and a hut with Gandhi hanging out in nothing more than a loincloth and glasses….

Scenes from Jesus' life

…of course, virtually everything else, besides the places to eat, are various scenes from Jesus’ life – pretty much all the famous one act plays – blessing children, curing the sick, kicking the moneylenders out of the temple, going to court…

Jesus and Judas

…hanging out with Judas….

Wailing Wall mockup

…wait, there’s the Wailing Wall, and someone wailing at it.

Reminders of modern life

Of course, being just down the road from the domestic airport, there are constant reminders amongst the plastic and clay mockups, that this isn’t really old Jerusalem. Just in case you forgot.

Gift shop

Though you can remind yourself of the experience later on with a souvenir from the bazaar.


And a visit here would not be complete without a musical number or two – very High School Musical meets Restaurant Belly Dancers.

And, of course, everyone really comes for the Groundhog Day events led by, you guessed it…

…I have to admit, even for those with no particular affinity for catholicism, Tierra Santa is one of those quirky things to do that’s so much a part of the fabric of this city, that it’s worth doing once. And, there’s always the shawarma at La Puerta de Damasco….


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Frank Almeida February 6, 2009 at 11:48

“Groundhog Day events”—you cracked me up. I went there 6 years ago and it looks exactly the same. The kids get curious every time we drive by the place. I have a feeling that I am going to go there soon. At least this time I will go to the right shawarma. Hey, I have to find motivation in it somewhere.

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