Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Church Of The Holy Sepulchre

Exploring the Historic Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem is one of the most important religious sites in the world for Christians, and a must-see for any tourist visiting the city. Located in the heart of the Old City, the church is believed to be the site of Jesus’ crucifixion, burial, and resurrection. It has been a place of pilgrimage and worship for centuries, and has a long and fascinating history.

 

History of the Holy Sepulchre

The area around the Church of the Holy Sepulchre has been occupied since at least the 2nd century BC. The first church on the site was built by Roman emperor Constantine in 326 AD, and was destroyed by fire in 614 AD. It was rebuilt by the Byzantine emperor Constantine V, after which it underwent multiple reconstructions and renovations over the centuries.

In 1009, the Fatimid caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah destroyed the church and it lay in ruins for the next 200 years, until it was reconstructed in 1149 by the Crusaders. The church was damaged by fire again in 1808, and was renovated and restored in 1810.

 

Divisions of the Holy Sepulchre

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is divided into multiple chambers, each with its own significance. The main area of the church is the Anastasis (‘Resurrection’ in Greek), where the tomb of Jesus is located. The adjacent Chapel of the Angel is believed to be the place where Jesus’ body was prepared for burial.

The Calvary (‘Golgotha’ in Aramaic) is the site of Jesus’ crucifixion, located in the main area of the church. The chapel of Adam is located beneath the Calvary and is believed to be the site of Adam’s burial. Other chambers include the Chapel of the Holy Fire and the Stone of Unction, where Jesus’ body was anointed before burial.

 

Denominations of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is shared by six different Christian denominations: Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Armenian Apostolic, Coptic Orthodox, Ethiopian Orthodox, and Syriac Orthodox. Each of the denominations has its own designated area in the church, and they all cooperate to maintain the building and its grounds.

 

Visiting the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Visitors to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre are welcome to explore the various chambers, and to light candles and pray at the various altars. However, it is important to remember that the church is a place of worship and visitors should behave accordingly.

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is open to the public seven days a week, from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Admission is free, and visitors can purchase souvenirs from the gift shop.

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is one of the most important religious sites in the world and a must-see for any tourist visiting Jerusalem. With its fascinating history and its significance to multiple Christian denominations, the site is sure to leave a lasting impression.

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