Church of the Holy Sepulchre

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre also called the Church of the Resurrection by Orthodox Christians is a church within the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. According to Christian beliefs this is the place where Isa As (Jesus) was crucified and also contains the place where Jesus is said to have been buried and resurrected.

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circa 30 CE

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre courtyard as seen after entering from Souq al-Dabbagh, the stairs to the left lead to the Saint Helena road. To the right is the Chapel of the Franks (10th station of Via Dolorosa). The church contains, according to traditions dating back to at least the fourth century, the two holiest sites in Christianity: the site where Jesus of Nazareth was crucified, at a place known as "Calvary" or "Golgotha".

circa 30 CE

The Stone of Anointing at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, according to tradition, the body of Jesus was laid on this stone after it was removed from the cross and prepared for burial in accordance with Jewish customs. The wall behind the stone is defined by its striking blue balconies and tau cross-bearing red banners (depicting the insignia of the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre), and is decorated with lamps.

circa 30 CE

The Aedicule (Latin), is a small chapel called the Kouvouklion in Greek, encloses the Holy Sepulchre. 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. A marble plaque was placed in the fourteenth century on the tomb to prevent further damage to the tomb.

circa 30 CE

The Chapel of Saint Helena is located between the Chapel of Division of Robes and the Greek Chapel of the Derision are stairs descending to the Chapel of Saint Helena. It is a 12th-century Armenian church in the lower level of the Church, constructed during the Kingdom of Jerusalem. There are two apses in the church, one dedicated to Saint Helena and one to the penitent thief on the cross. The chapel is modestly adorned in memory of Saint Helena's simplicity.

circa 30 CE

On the ground floor, underneath the Golgotha chapel proper, is the Chapel of Adam. According to tradition, Jesus was crucified over the place where Adam's skull was buried. According to some, at the crucifixion, the blood of Christ ran down the cross and through the rocks to fill the skull of Adam. The Rock of Calvary appears cracked through a window on the altar wall, with the crack traditionally claimed to be caused by the earthquake that occurred when Jesus died on the cross.

circa 30 CE

Golgotha (Greek Orthodox Calvary) and its chapels are just south of the main altar of the Catholicon. Just inside the church is a stairway climbing to Calvary (Golgotha), traditionally regarded as the site of Jesus' crucifixion and the most lavishly decorated part of the church. The exit is via another stairway opposite the first, leading down to the ambulatory.

circa 30 CE

Chapel of the Franks is where according to Christian tradition the clothes of Jesus were stripped by Roman soldiers. It is regarded as the tenth station of Via Dolorosa and there is no station marker at this location. It is a blue-domed Roman Catholic Crusader chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows, which once provided exclusive access to Calvary. It is located directly above the Greek Orthodox oratory and chapel dedicated to the saint Mary of Egypt.

circa 30 CE

Chapel of the Invention of the Holy Cross or Chapel of the Finding of the Cross, another set of 22 stairs from the Chapel of Saint Helena leads down to the Roman Catholic Chapel of the Invention of the Holy Cross, believed to be the place where the True Cross and other instruments of the Passion and crucifixion were found. A statue behind the altar shows her holding the Cross. This rough-walled area has been built within part of the ancient quarry, apparently later converted into a cistern for water storage.

circa 30 CE

Immovable Ladder, 'The stationary ladder' is a wooden ladder located above the entrance, under the window of the Church. Made of cedar wood, possibly from Lebanon, it was first mentioned in 1757 and has remained in that location since the 18th century, aside from being temporarily moved on two occasions. The ladder is referred to as "immovable" due to an understanding that no cleric of the six ecumenical Christian orders may move, rearrange, or alter any property without the consent of the other five orders.

circa 30 CE

The Franciscan Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene – The chapel indicates the place where Mary Magdalene met Jesus after his resurrection. Inside is an altar dedicated to St Mary Magdalene, then double bronze doors (donated by the people of Australia in 1982) leading to the Catholic Franciscan Chapel of the Apparition. It commemorates the ancient tradition that Jesus appeared to his mother after his Resurrection, an event not found in the Gospels. There is an organ fixed against the wall of the chapel said to be the one to which Jesus was tied when he was scourged.

circa 30 CE

The Franciscan Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament (or Chapel of the Apparition) – in memory of Jesus' meeting with his mother after the Resurrection. It commemorates the ancient tradition that Jesus appeared to his mother after his Resurrection, an event not found in the Gospels.

circa 30 CE

Entrance of the Greek Orthodox Chapel. According to tradition, this is one of the purported locations where Jesus was imprisoned after being arrested from the Garden of Gethsemane. It is located in the north-east side of the complex, on the floor, in front of the chapel, is a mosaic figure of a double headed eagle - symbol of the Byzantine empire and the Greek Orthodox church.

circa 30 CE

The Chapel of the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste (Greek Orthodox; at the base of the bell tower). This chapel is located today in the lowest story of the thirteenth century bell tower, and was formerly the monastery of the Trinity wherein were buried the patriarchs of Jerusalem. The present day chapel dates back to the restoration of the buildings under Constantine Monmachos in the eleventh century. The story below, however, further shows that there was a chapel dedicated to the Forty Martyrs.

circa 30 CE

The Monastery of the Sultan (Arabic: دير السلطان‎, translit. Deir Al-Sultan, lit. 'Monastery of the Sultan') is a monastery located on the roof of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The Status Quo, a 250-year old understanding between religious communities, applies to the site.

circa 30 CE

The keys to the main entrance of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre are entrusted to two of the Muslim families since Saladin era. This arrangement emerged during the days of the second caliph Umar Ibn al-Khattab, who hoped to avoid clashes among rival Christian sects for control over the church.

circa 30 CE

Entrance to the Gethsemane Metochion (left) a small Greek Orthodox monastery, located opposite the courtyard of the Holy Sepulchre. The stairs to the right lead to the Saint Helena Street, the square tower in the top middle is the minaret of Masjid e Omar. The small chapel houses the icon of the Panagia, that is carried around the Holy Sepulchre during the procession for the Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos on August 15/18.

circa 30 CE

The Chapel of St John, Armenian Orthodox, (left) and the entrance to the Monastery of St Abraham (left), Greek Orthodox, located in the Parvis (courtyard) of the Church. The St. Abraham’s Monastery (right) is in the southeastern portion of the Holy Sepulchre Square. It used to be run by the Ethiopians but it was transferred to the Greeks in 1660 because they failed to settle their taxes to the Sultan. Now, the St. Abraham’sGreek Orthodox Monastery is a Christian guest-house for pilgrims visiting Jerusalem.

circa 30 CE

The church's bell tower is located to the left of the façade. It is currently almost half its original size. The tower adjacent to the south transept façade, was added in the Augustinian era.

circa 30 CE

Chapel of Division of Robes, is an Armenian chapel located on the eastern side of the church near the steps leading beneath ground level to the Chapel of St. Helena. The chapel marks the place where the Roman soldiers cast lots to divide Christ’s clothing between them. (John 19:23).

circa 30 CE

The Orthodox Greek chapel is dedicated to Saint Longinus. Located on the Ambulatory (Corridor) this Greek Chapel of St Longinus is dedicated to the Roman soldier who pierced Jesus’ sidewith his spear and then accepted him as the Son of God. (Matthew 27, 54)

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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