Exploring the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Initially, Jerusalem can be an incredibly confusing city. Centuries of constant habitation has resulted in a maze of alleys, side streets and endless souks, all of which look amazingly similar to each other. After a few days though, certain landmarks or starting points begin to emerge and they not only become important navigation elements, but special parts of the trip as well. One such spot for me was the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

This holy site is perhaps the most important in the Christian faith, believed by many to be the site of the final stations of the cross, where Jesus was crucified, died and was buried. There have been religious sites of pilgrimage on the site of Golgotha for more than 1,700 years, one of the constants found in the city throughout its centuries of drastic change.

Walking through the Church itself can be a little confusing unless you know what you’re doing and what you’re looking at. I didn’t. Instead I meandered, glancing at my guide book and just enjoying being in the church with its tiny nooks and secret doorways leading to hidden recesses. The Church is shared by many Christian faiths, and this hodge podge of devotion is seen throughout the building, from the Ethiopian Coptic altar to the random Franciscan monks running about, in an obvious but unknown hurry.

I visited this site of amazing history several times, for both its convenience as well as its splendor. Even though I didn’t fully understand or appreciate everything I saw in the Church, I loved it for just being there.

Station 9 Via Dolorosa and the Church in Background

Entrance to the Church

Calvary, Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Stone of Unction

14th Station of the Cross - The Aedicule

14th Station of the Cross - The Aedicule

Rotunda Cupola, Church of the Holy Sepulchre

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By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer.Also follow Matt on Twitter, Facebook and

3 Responses

  1. Jeremy B

    Fascinating! I’ve never been to Jerusalem but there is so much history and culture there as well as the center for religion throughout the world. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is beautiful!

    Reply
  2. Jeff Titelius

    What a wonderful story filled with superb pics and fascinating background information on the sites. Jerusalem is absolutely on my bucket list and thanks to you, moved up a few notches as well. Once again, I learned something new on your site…typical of every visit here. Keep up the outstanding work my friend!

    Reply
  3. Rachel Gargiulo

    This brought back wonderful memories…thank you! Just to the right of first pic on this page (if memory serves) is a stairway heading up to the right. The bottom step of these stairs is a topic of heated discussion. The caretakers of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Church residing at the top of the stairs (forgot what it is) claim ownership of the bottom step. The issue is that the step is made of the same material as the rest of the steps, but it is only an inch or so high, unlike the rest of the steps, making it appear to be more a part of the courtyard than a step. I found it absolutely fascinating that this would be a source of contention. What are they fighting over, the right to clean it? Regardless…one of the most beautiful and amazing places I’ve ever been. Everyone should visit if possible.

    Reply

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