Eileen & Ellery’s Fabulous Adventures in Israel #8: The Christian Quarter and The Via Dolorosa…

The Christian quarter was built around the Church of the Holy Sepulchre which is the heart of the quarter. Around the church there are other churches and monasteries. As in contrast to the Muslim Quarter there are few houses. Christian buildings stand on much of the quarter. Besides the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which occupies most of the land, the Patriarchate of the Greek Orthodox, the Franciscan monastery, San Salvatore and the Latin Patriarchate take up large areas as well. The quarter also contains souvenir shops, coffee houses, restaurants and hotels.

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, also called the Church of the Resurrection by Eastern Christians  is highly respected as the Hill of Calvary, where Jesus was said to be crucified and is also said  to contain the place where Jesus was buried (the sepulchre). The church is  an important Christian pilgrimage destination…

Christians on pilgrimage pose in front of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre...

…as it is the purported site of the resurrection of Jesus. Control of the Church building is shared between several Christian churches including Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and roman Catholic.

Just inside the entrance is The Stone of Anointing, also known as The Stone of Unction, which tradition claims to be the spot where Jesus’ body was prepared for burial by Joseph of Arimathea. However, this tradition  only exists since the crusader era (1095 AD), and the present stone was only added in the 1810 reconstruction of the Church.

This stone represents where they laid and washed Jesus' body before burial...

The Via Dolorosa  is a street, in two parts, within the Old City of Jerusalem, said to be the path that Jesus walked, carrying his cross, on the way to his crucifixion. It is a distance of about  2,000 feet and is a celebrated place of Christian pilgrimage…


The current route…

…has been established since the 18th century, replacing various earlier versions. It is marked by nine Stations of the Cross along the Via Dolorosa…

The fourth station where Jesus meets his mother...

The Church on the site of the fourth station...

5th Station of the cross, Via Dolorosa...

The fifth station refers to the biblical episode in which Simon of Cyrene takes Jesus' cross, and carries it for him...

…there have been fourteen stations since the late 15th century,  with the remaining five stations being inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

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