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

Our visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.


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.


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


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.


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


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.


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.  


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


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.  


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.

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 


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.

Exterior of the amazing church.

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