Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem

Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem (must see)

The Church of the Holy Sepulcher is also known as “The Church of the Resurrection” by Eastern Orthodox Christians. It is located within the walls of Old Jerusalem close to the Muristan. It sits on one of the holiest sites in the Christian faith. It is believed that this is the site of Calvary, or Golgotha, where Jesus Christ was crucified. It is also located over the tomb where he was buried.

The Church is rather an odd hodgepodge of styles, a mix of humble and simple in spots and ornate in others. It encompasses five Stations of the Cross and is the ending place of the Via Dolorosa. The outside façade was built by the Crusaders centuries ago. Immediately inside there is a tall bench where a caretaker (Muslim) sat to keep differing Christian factions apart. Even today parts of the building are under the control of the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Armenian Apostolic groups, and this is called the Status Quo. Serious arguments can occur if a chair is moved or a door is left open, as these are seen as signs of disrespect to the other groups.

Under the Rotunda is the tomb of Christ. The tomb is encased in a shrine called an aedicule which contains the Chapel of the Angel, which has a small piece of the stone that was rolled away from the tomb, and the Chapel. The later version of this spot contains the tomb itself. Inside the tomb is a cracked marble slab that shows where Christ’s body was laid after the crucifixion – this is not the original stone.

There are numerous chapels to see at the Church, each with its own special section of this holy ground. Directly beneath Calvary is the Chapel of Adam. Ancient tradition holds that Jesus was crucified over the site of Adam’s burial place. Behind the aedicule is Coptic Chapel where more of the tomb is visible. The Chapel of the Prison of Christ, the Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene, and the Chapel of the Finding of the Cross are also open for visitation. The Chapel of St. Vartan is Armenian and encompasses an area that was newly excavated in the 1970s. Unfortunately, this area is not generally open to the public.

Access to the Church of the Sepulcher is free. Hours vary. Please dress appropriately for the sanctity of the area.

Tip:
Come early and bring a guidebook. Nothing is signposted and there are no guides so if you'd rather not bring a guidebook, at least do some research first.

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Jerusalem, Israel within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. 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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Church of the Holy Sepulchre on Map

Sight Name: Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Sight Location: Jerusalem, Israel
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) containing this sight: Landmarks of Jerusalem Walking Tour   Famous Architecture of Jerusalem Walking Tour   Old City Orientation Walk  

Walking Tours in Jerusalem, Israel

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Mount Zion and Surroundings Walking Tour

Mount Zion and Surroundings Walking Tour

Mount Zion, as many other places in Jerusalem, is a biblical site. This name was mentioned in manuscripts dating back to the first millennium BC. It was called the Town of David and David s tomb is here. This self-guided tour will lead you to the biblical sites of Mount Zion and other modern attractions in its surroundings.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 km
Latrun at the Outskirt of Jerusalem Self-Guided Tour

Latrun at the Outskirt of Jerusalem Self-Guided Tour

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Jerusalem Suburb Walking Tour

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Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 8.4 km
Mount of Olives Walking Tour of Jerusalem

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Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 km
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Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 km
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Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.2 km

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