Chapel of the Ascension, Jerusalem

Chapel of the Ascension, Jerusalem

Part of a larger complex consisting first of a Christian church and monastery, then an Islamic mosque, the Chapel of the Ascension is located on a site the faithful traditionally believe to be the earthly spot where Jesus "was carried up into heaven" 40 days after the Resurrection – an impression of a rock inside the small octagonal shrine is regarded as the footprint Jesus left as he ascended.

Before the point in history where Emperor Constantine was converted to the faith, early Christians held special celebrations honoring Christ's return to heaven in a cave located on the Mount of Olives (most likely, the cavern was used for the safety and security of worshippers). Poimenia, a famous Roman Lady of means, built the first chapel here around the year 390, but the present building was erected by the Crusaders, and subsequently converted into a mosque by Salah ad-Din in 1198, with a mihrab pointing towards Mecca (in the south wall) added shortly after. The presence of a mosque on the site is not as bizarre as it might seem, considering that Islam recognizes Jesus as a prophet.

The tiny burial crypt next to the mosque is revered by all three local religions: Jews believe it contains the 7th-century BCE prophetess Huldah, Christians believe it to be the tomb of the 5th-century saint Pelagia the harlot, or the penitent; while Muslims maintain that the 8th-century Sufi mystic and wali, Rabi'a al-Adawiyya is buried there. What is certain is that the Christian tradition of Saint Pelagia is the oldest.

Tip:
If you want to visit this place, try to do so when there are not too many people inside. Arriving before or after prayer time (before or after noon) should be fine.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 8am–5pm (to 2:30pm in winter)

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Jerusalem. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Chapel of the Ascension on Map

Sight Name: Chapel of the Ascension
Sight Location: Jerusalem, Israel (See walking tours in Jerusalem)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Jerusalem, Israel

Create Your Own Walk in Jerusalem

Create Your Own Walk in Jerusalem

Creating your own self-guided walk in Jerusalem is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Jerusalem Old City Walking Tour

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A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981, the Old City of Jerusalem is best explored on foot, since its narrow streets and alleys make it almost an entirely vehicle-free zone. In addition to hosting four ethnic quarters, – Jewish, Muslim, Christian and Armenian – it is packed with major historical and religious sites, which all make a trip here unique, unforgettable and not to be missed.

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Armenian Quarter Walking Tour

Armenian Quarter Walking Tour

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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.2 Km or 0.7 Miles
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Travel Distance: 3.8 Km or 2.4 Miles
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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
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The largest, most populous and perhaps most chaotic of all Jerusalem’s quarters, the Muslim Quarter is worth exploring for its unique atmosphere. Spending a day here may take you back to a simpler time, but be prepared for many sights and sounds as you pass many vendors, stores and restaurants on your way from site to site.

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles
Jewish Quarter Walking Tour

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Entirely rebuilt in the 1980s after having been largely destroyed during the 1948 War, the Jewish Quarter is quite distinct from the rest of the Old City. Good signposting, spacious passageways, art galleries and a somewhat less buzzing atmosphere make the area a relaxing place to spend some time.

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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.1 Km or 0.7 Miles

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