Discover Holy Sepulcher church in old city of Jerusalem
The Church of the Holy Sepulcher is the holy Christian church and a pilgrimage site located in the old city of Jerusalem. The reason for its importance is that according to tradition, it is built on the hill of Golgotha where Jesus was crucified on a cross placed on it and in the nearby cave he was buried and resurrected after three days.
This church is the highlight of the visit in the holy land for Christians from all over the world. The church is divided between the various streams into different and interesting chapels. Chapels devoted to the Armenian, Greek Orthodox and Latin churches. You will also find areas that are in the possession of Ethiopian and Coptic Syrians. Since the 16th century, the keys to the church belong to two Muslim families.
The place of the crucifixion of Jesus is called Golgotha (skull), probably the shape of the rock upon which the cross was placed was of a skull. From the Byzantine period it has been claimed that this is the burial place of the first man and there is evidently under the rock of a burial cave identified with the first man.
The day of the crucifixion was Friday and it was necessary to bury the body before the beginning of Shabbat (in order to keep the Shabbat rules, which are: buried cannot happen during Shabbat). The tomb of Jesus carved in stone located outside the city as it is forbidden to bury in the city. The anointing stone is visible from within before the church door. It is the stone upon which, according to tradition, the body of Jesus was placed and anointed with ointment. From there, they took his body to a tomb in a cave blocked by a rolling stone. On Sunday, Miriam Magdalena came and found the tomb empty. The rock was rolled and an angel sat upon it. The place where Jesus was buried and resurrected known as the "Adicule", a small shrine in the center of the church which you can see in the photo below.
According to tradition, the crucifixion was held in the year 33 A.D. In the 4th century, the mother of the Byzantine emperor Helena came to Jerusalem, after her son Constantine the great declare that Christianity is the formal religion of the Rome empire. According to tradition, inside a chapel in the church of the Holy Sepulcher, in the grotto, the original cross upon which Jesus was crucified was discovered by Helena. You can see pilgrims' prayer notes and walls filled with carvings on crosses.
Within the church
The whole church marks the final five stations (out of fourteen) on Jesus Via Dolorosa where he was crucified on the hill of Golgotha. The tenth stop at the entrance of the church is called the "Chapel of Clothes" According to tradition, the Roman soldiers took off Jesus clothes. Get inside and climb the stairs to the right, it's the eleventh stop. This is where Jesus was nailed to the cross. You may see a mosaic representing the event. To the left is the 12th station that marks the place of the crucifixion. The place is owned by the Greek Orthodox Church and is illuminated by lamps, the place is marked under the altar. The 13th station is dedicated to the mother of Jesus Mary, commemorated by a sculpture of Mary in a glass cabinet. Going down and down the hill there is a cubicle that constitutes the "Chapel of Adam" which according to tradition is located just below the place of the crucifixion and the blood of Jesus (“The second “Adam”) flood down on Adam’s grave. This action made atone for mankind's sins.
Church name: Holy Sepulcher
The 14th station is the finale and symbolizes the tomb of Jesus. It is the place where Jesus Christ's tomb and resurrection took place.
Address: in the Christian Quarter (follow signs to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher)
Order of Christians: Many orders have chapels in the church.
Construction date: 335 A.D by Emperor Constantine. However, what we see today is mainly from the twelfth century.
|Bus lines||Take the #1 bus from the central bus station. You can stop near Jaffa gate next to the Mamilla shopping center and enter the old city. You must enter the Christian district and search for the church. The old city is full with signs and maps so follow the directions, and everyone will help to direct you if you need assistance.|
|Car||You can park you car in Mamilla parking lot and walk by foot from Jaffa Gate.|
|Taxi||If you take taxi, the nearest point they will get you is to the market in the Armenian market, from there its very easy to follow the signs to the church.|
|Walking||If you stay overnight in Jerusalem city center, walk by foot to Jaffa gate and follow the signs.|
You can only enter the main hall with a wheelchair, cannot walk the stairs up to the googolth hill because it has many stages. We could not go down to the chapels, as they were also filled with staircases.
Every Sunday closed at 20:00
April-September open from 05:00 till 21:00 .
October -March open every day 04:00 till 19:00.
Summer (April to September): Open everyday from 5am to 9pm. On Sundays, the church is closed.
Please note that admission is free.
The toilets are free and located within the church.
Telephone number 972 – (0)2-6267000.
Nearby site activities
The church, located in the Christian Quarter in the old city of Jerusalem. You can stroll all day between the narrow alleys and explore all the four quarters of the city: The Armenian, The Muslim, The Christian and The Jewish quarter. If you would like to see more churches, do not miss the nearby German Church: Redeemer Lutheran Church which has a bell tower. Insider tip: the best panoramic view is available from this tower, exercise and step on it, you won't regret it. (Not with a wheelchair).
The church is filled with details and history and has a magical atmosphere. You will notice Christian believers from all around the world that gets excited to visit this unique church. If you want to enter the "rotunda" (tomb of Jesus), that is the highlight of the visit for many pilgrims. However, if this is on your “must see” list, come as early as possible as you might wait a few hours in line if you are coming during the busy hours (noon)!