The Aedicule

In the center of the Rotunda is the chapel called the Aedicule, which contains the Holy Sepulchre itself. The Aedicule has two rooms, the first holding the Angel's Stone, which is believed to be a fragment of the large stone that sealed the tomb; the second is the tomb itself.

circa 30 CE

The rotunda is located in the centre of the Anastasis, beneath the larger of the church's two domes. In the centre of the rotunda is a small chapel called the Kouvouklion in Greek or the Aedicula in Latin, which encloses the Holy Sepulchre. The Edicule of the Tomb, has the layout of a tomb from the time of Jesus, formed by a passageway. It was rebuilt in 1808 CE after a fire. Covered by a flat roof with a small Russian-style dome at its center whose “onion” is supported by narrow columns.

circa 30 CE

The Rotunda and the dome located in the centre of the Anastasis were only erected around the chapel circa 380 CE. The most important element of the complex is the rotunda which contains the sepulcher itself. The sepulcher stands in an elaborate structure within the rotunda, surrounded by columns supporting an ornamented, domed roof. The sepulcher itself is surrounded by a circle of twelve columns - groups of three columns between four pairs of square piers.

circa 30 CE

The richly decorated facade of the Aedicule. Under the Status Quo, the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Armenian Apostolic Churches all have rights to the interior of the tomb, and all three communities celebrate the Divine Liturgy or Holy Mass there daily. It is also used for other ceremonies on special occasions, such as the Holy Saturday ceremony of the Holy Fire led by the Greek Orthodox Patriarch (with the participation of the Coptic and Armenian patriarchs).

circa 30 CE

The Aedicule has two rooms, the first holding the Angel's Stone, which is believed to be a fragment of the large stone that sealed the tomb. Looking directly in to the first chamber with the candle burning on the Angel's stone, believed to be a fragment of the large circular stone that sealed the tomb.

circa 30 CE

The second chamber (peek inside) as seen from the entrance which contains the tomb itself. Possibly due to the fact that pilgrims laid their hands on the tomb or to prevent eager pilgrims from removing bits of the original rock as souvenirs, a marble plaque was placed in the fourteenth century on the tomb to prevent further damage to the tomb.

circa 30 CE

During the recent opening for restoration from May 2016 to March 2017 of the tomb a conservator cleans the surface of the stone slab venerated as the final resting place of Jesus Christ inside the second chamber of the Aedicule. The Aedicule underwent restoration and repairs after the Israel Antiquities Authority declared the structure unsafe. Much of the $3 million project was funded by the World Monuments Fund.

circa 30 CE

The side panels are decorated with inscriptions in Greek praising Jesus. To its rear (left), in a chapel constructed of iron latticework, lies the altar used by the Coptic Orthodox. Historically, the Georgians also retained the key to the Aedicule.

References


Points of InterestPart of
Chapels Chapel of the Franks · Greek Orthodoc Chapel · Coptic Chapel · Syrian Chapel · Chapel of the Apparition · Chapel of Saint Longinus · Chapel of the Division of the Raiment (robes) · Chapel of Saint Helena · Chapel of the Finding of the Cross · Chapel of the Derision · Chapel of Adam · Chapel of Saint Mary of Egypt · Chapel of the AngelChapels in Jerusalem
Tombs Tomb of Jesus · Jewish TombTombs in Jerusalem
Other(s) Keys · Prison of Jesus · Aedicule · Stone of Anointing · Greek Treasury · Greek Mosaic · Station of the Three Holy Women · Rotunda · Katholicon · Iconostasis · Altar of Saint Mary Magdalene · Arches of the Virgin · Rock of Golgotha · Column of Flagelation · Immovable Ladder
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