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Church of Holy Sepulchre (Jerusalem)

Church of Holy Sepulchre (Jerusalem)

For most Christians this is the holiest site on Earth since it is believed that on this place Jesus Christ died on a cross and subsequently buried. Golgotha at the time of crucifixion was a small hill just outside of walls of Jerusalem. It strange resemblance with a head is due to human activity that quarried stone for construction of buildings inside the city. Its remains are clearly visible in the subterranean portion of the church.





Location: Jerusalem

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Additionally its close proximity to city walls and major road leading to the city (roughly correlates with David Street today), made sure that everyone saw what can happened to anyone who opposed the power of the Roman Empire. Soon after the events described in the Gospels, city expanded and temple of Venus was build on the site. However Christians did not forget the place and came here to pray in secret. It was emperor Constantine with his mother Helena who finally tore down the pagan temple and established Christian Church in its place. Empress Helena started the construction by carrying out archaeological digs on the site of the former Golgotha. She discovered remains of the cross that was probably used for execution of Jesus as well as many other criminals over expanse of several decades.


Church of Holy Sepulcher was finally constructed after former quarries were emptied from rubble and dirt. The building was burned and damaged through almost two millennia of turbulent history, but it was quickly restored and reconstructed. Modern Church was constructed in the early 19th century. Take notice of a ladder that stands at the right window of the double arch. It's been there for over one hundred years. As you enter the complex you might also notice cracked column on the left side. According to a legend this long crevice was formed on Easter. Orthodox priest came too late to service and he couldn't enter the Tomb of Jesus, so he started to pray at the entrance of the church. Suddenly a thunderbolt hit the column and fire emerged to surprise of all the believers. Right inside the church you can see a stone where body of Jesus was washed after he was taken from a cross. On the right side you can see the remains of the Golgotha peak, on the right round church contains a small chapel that enshrines the tomb of Jesus Christ. According to the Gospels Jesus was buried in a newly carved cave for a family of Joseph, member of Sanhedrin, religious court that sentenced him to death. However Joseph opposed death sentence and in secrecy considered himself as one of his disciples. After his friend was crucified, Joseph helped to bury him in a tomb made for his family. Joseph's tomb is visible in a small room adjacent to the main round hall.


Former cave was basically destroyed for construction of later Roman and Christian structures. We can only imagine how the cave looked in the first century AD. Its former location is located within a small chapel in the round central hall. Chapel has an anteroom that has remains of the rock that closed the former cave and a small burial chamber. As you enter the tomb make sure you don't hit your head. The entrance is very low and narrow.

Rock what was used to lay down body of Jesus Christ after he was taken off the cross