Ecce Homo Arch, Jerusalem

Ecce Homo Arch, Jerusalem

The arch that spans the Via Dolorosa was originally built by the Romans in AD 70 to support a ramp against the Antonia Fortress, where Jewish rebels were barricaded. When the Romans rebuilt Jerusalem in AD 135 following the Second Jewish War, the arch was reconstructed as a monument to their victory. featuring two smaller arches flanking a large central bay. It is this central bay that spans the street just west of the entrance to the Lithostratos ("Pavement of Justice").

One of the side arches is still visible today, integrated into the interior of the neighboring Convent of the Sisters of Zion, which was built in the 1860s. Within the convent lie the remains of the ancient Pool of the Sparrow (Struthion), a reservoir that collected rainwater from rooftops. According to Christian tradition, it was on the stone pavement covering this pool that Pontius Pilate presented Jesus to the crowds, uttering the famous words "Ecce homo" ("Behold the man"). However, archaeological findings date the pavement to the 2nd century AD, during the reign of Hadrian, long after the time of Christ.

Marks scratched into the stone, visible within a railed section, are speculated by historians to have been made by Roman guards as a form of street game. Meanwhile, adjacent to the arch and the Third Station, on the north side of the street, a building belonging to the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, (though not accessible to the public), bears a plaque identifying it as the Prison of Jesus and Barabas. This tradition was only established in 1911, however, and it is more likely that the structure was a stable associated with the Antonia Fortress.

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Ecce Homo Arch on Map

Sight Name: Ecce Homo Arch
Sight Location: Jerusalem, Israel (See walking tours in Jerusalem)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Jerusalem, Israel

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