Categories: Jerusalem

Jerusalem – Church of the Holy Sepulchre

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Latin: Sanctum Sepulchrum), also called the Church of the Resurrection by Eastern Christians, is a Christian church within the walled Old City of Jerusalem. The site is venerated by most Christians as Golgotha, (the Hill of Calvary), where the New Testament says that Jesus was crucified, and is said to also contain the place where Jesus was buried (the sepulchre). The church has been an important pilgrimage destination since at least the 4th century, as the purported site of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus. Today it also serves as the headquarters of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem. (Wikipedia)

It’s a fascinating spot to tour and I’ve met interesting people every time I visited. The passion and faith of people in that place is extraordinary.

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It a lot of biblical mixed into one place. The Catholic believe its where Jesus was crucified & buried as well as Adam, the first man. If you’ll ask a Protestant he’ll tell you the Golgotha is actually a bit north outside the current old city walls, since it looks a bit like a skull. The politics are always an anecdote at the church and I keep hearing the story of the wood ladder that wouldn’t be moved for decades due to political disagreement of the different churches who value this place as holy from almost all tour-guides who work there (last photo next to the upper right window).

Under the status quo, no part of what is designated as common territory may be so much as rearranged without consent from all communities. This often leads to the neglect of badly needed repairs when the communities cannot come to an agreement among themselves about the final shape of a project. Just such a disagreement has delayed the renovation of the edicule, where the need is now dire, but also where any change in the structure might result in a change to the status quo disagreeable to one or more of the communities.

A less grave sign of this state of affairs is located on a window ledge over the church’s entrance. Someone placed a wooden ladder there sometime before 1852, when the status quo defined both the doors and the window ledges as common ground. The ladder remains there to this day, in almost exactly the same position. It can be seen to occupy the ledge in century-old photographs and engravings. (Wikipedia)

You gotta love politics.

This time it was an old Indian pastor from Delhi who started a conversation with me, and my attempted explanations that I’m a local from Israel failed as he insisted that I’m from New-Zealand. What was interesting was that he was with a group doing Egypt, Israel and Jordan in 4 days and the only real spot they were visiting in Jerusalem was the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. What a shame. Yet, he was extremely excited, maybe even a bit manic, happy for being at the presence of such a holy place. He kept saying how wonderful things look and how lucky people who live in Jerusalem are. 😛

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