Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Next to the doors at the entrance to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is a wooden cross that is meant for visitors to rent. And many pilgrims to this holy site do - carrying it on their backs, on a personal and spiritual journey from the Via Dolorosa to the Church. As the place where Jesus was crucified and subsequently buried, the Church of Holy Sepulchre has been the most venerated of Christian sites since the 4th century, as the purported site of Jesus’ resurrection.
Today, the Church’s physical grounds, including its various on-site sacred niches, are divided among several religious factions of Christianity. The keys to the Church entranceways are also held by two Muslim families. The combined arrangement of which has contributed to a significant undercurrent of tension over the years.
Just inside the entrance, underneath a series of lamps, is the Stone of Anointing, also called the Stone of Unction, which marks the traditional spot where Jesus’ body was prepared for burial. To the left is the burial site of Jesus where the Miracle of the Holy Fire is celebrated by the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem. Between the first two chapels, stairs descend into the Chapel of Saint Helena, Emperor Constantine’s mother who was responsible for excavations and constructions on the site in 326 CE, she was also credited with finding the remains of the True Cross. The roof of the Church is home to a small group of Ethiopian Orthodox monks. One of the most holiest acts visitors to the Church are making is to light a candle on behalf of a loved one.
Address: Christian Quarter