Church of the Holy Sepulchre

The most famous church in the world is undoubtedly the Church of the Holy Sepulchre which lies in Jerusalem’s Old City in the Christian Quarter.  The Church is also known as the Church of the Resurrection or the Church of Anastasis. The site is known as the place where Jesus Christ was crucified and buried. The Roman Emperor, Constantine I – a Christian convert – had the temple of Venus demolished around 325 to make way for the building of a church during which time a tomb, believed to be that of Jesus Christ, was discovered. Over the years, the Church has suffered from natural disasters and has been under the control of whoever ruled the land at the time – from Crusaders to Kwarezmiams.  Today, a complex of structures marks the spot, and has become a destination of pilgrimage for millions each year. The location is also the headquarters of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, although control of the church is shared among several Christian denominations.

Entrance was originally through two large arched doors although only one is now accessible through a parvis of a larger courtyard. You can also see broken ancient columns, the bell tower, Crusader graffiti and the Immovable Ladder, which has stood in its place since the 1800s.

The inside of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre holds five of the 14 Stations that remember Jesus’ final journey to his crucifixion along the Via Delorosa.  The most lavishly decorated and ornate part of the church is the Calvary (Golgotha) which is where it is believed Jesus was crucified. Other alters, such as the Catholic Chapel of the Nailing Cross and the statue of Mary are also part of this holy site. The Edicule structure preserves the location of Christ’s tomb.

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