Church of the Holy Sepulchre – walking in the steps of Christ

Our visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

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The Church of the Holy Sepulchre (definition – a small room or monument, cut in rock or built of stone, in which a dead person is laid or buried) is within the Christian Quarter of the walled Old City of Jerusalem.

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The site is venerated as Calvary where Jesus was crucified and also contains the place where Jesus is said to have been buried.

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Within the church are the last four (or, by some definitions, five) Stations of the Cross along the Via Dolorosa, representing the final episodes of Jesus’s Passion.

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The church has been an important Christian pilgrimage destination since at least the 4th century as the purported site of the resurrection of Jesus.

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Today it also serves as the headquarters of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem , while control of the building is shared between several Christian churches and secular entities in complicated arrangements essentially unchanged for centuries.

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Today, the church is home to branches of Eastern Orthodoxy andOriental Orthodoxy as well as to Roman Catholicism. Anglicans and Protestants have no permanent presence in the Church.  

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Some have regarded theGarden Tomb, elsewhere in Jerusalem, as the true place of Jesus’s crucifixion and resurrection.

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According to Eusebius, the Roman emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century built a temple dedicated to the Roman goddess Venus in order to bury the cave in which Jesus had been buried.  

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The first Christian Emperor, Flavius Constantinus, ordered (in about) 325/326 that the temple be replaced by a church.  During the building of the Church, Constantine’s mother, Helena, is believed to have rediscovered the True Cross, and a tomb.

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Holy man entering the Church
According to tradition, Constantine arranged for the rockface to be removed from around the tomb, without harming it, in order to isolate the tomb; in the centre of the rotunda is a small building called which supposedly encloses this tomb.

Crusader graffiti in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher 

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The Immovable Ladder, the small ladder below the top-right window.  

this has remained in the same position since 1854 over a disagreement to move it.

DSC_9029The sights – and imagining the people who have walked here – is amazing. DSC_9021Other than some restoration work, its appearance has essentially not changed since 1854.
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Exterior of the amazing church.
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