The Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Without question the holiest site in all of Christendom is located in the Christian Quarter of Jerusalem. It represents the location where Jesus was crucified and where his body was laid to rest. Today there is a high level of certainty that the location has been identified.

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is a church in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. In the fourth century C.E., the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was built at the site of Golgotha as identified by the Roman Emperor Constantine’s mother, Helena. it contains two sites considered holy in Christianity: the site where Jesus was crucified, at a place known as Calvary or Golgotha, and Jesus’s empty tomb, which is where he was buried and resurrected.

Golgotha is Aramaic for “Skull” and was also called Calvary, from Latin calva meaning a “bald head” or “skull”. It is a skull-shaped hill in old Jerusalem and the historically established site of Jesus ‘ crucifixion. The hill is incorporated into Church of the Holy Sepulchre. It is referred to in all four Gospels ( Matthew 27:33, Mark 15:22, Luke 23:33, and John 19:17).

The Tomb Shrine Inside The Church

The tomb were Jesus body was placed after his death is located just below Golgotha. The Bible says Jesus was laid in a tomb “hewn out of the rock” (Mark 15:46).

A recent major archaeological discovery adds credence to the belief that the tomb in The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was probably used around the time of the death of Jesus Christ rather than claimed other dates.pon previous findings. Experiments were conducted on mortar material that was recently found between the limestone surface of the tomb and marble slab marking the tomb, dating to the time of Emperor Constantine who ordered the original The Church of the Holy Sepulchre built. The results of these experiments prove that this mortar dates back to 345 AD, which supports the claims made by the Roman Emperor’s mother.

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre underwent several major phases of construction, what began at the place of execution and burial in Jerusalem, has grown over time into a complex church over centuries. First, in the fourth century A.D., it was erected as the Constantinian Church of the Resurrection; next, in the 11th century, following fires and earthquakes it was reconstructed; and in the 12th century, as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre following changes started during the era of the Crusader kings. That was the final renovation and is what is what you see today.

Diagram Of The Church of the Holy Sepulchre

The present-day church complex joins together numerous chapels, Stations of the Cross, and historical features.

(1) parvis (courtyard)

(2) main entrance

(3) Greek Katholikon (primary Greek Orthodox chapel)

(4) north transept

(5) Byzantine gallery

(6) apse of the Katholikon

(7) ambulatory

(8) Chapel of Longinus

(9) Chapel of the Parting of the Raiment

(10) Chapel of the Crown of Thorns

(11) Chapel of Adam

(12) Chapel of the Angel

(13) Chapel of the Holy Sepulchre (14th Station of the Cross)

(14) Coptic Chapel of the Holy Sepulchre

(15) rotunda

(16) Chapel of the Apparition

(17) Syrian Chapel

(18) Latin sacristy

(19) Tomb of Joseph of Arimathea

(20) Chapel of Bonds

(21) Prison of Christ

(22) courtyard

(23) Latin refectory

(24) Crusader patriarchate (seat of the Roman Catholic patriarch)

(25) Armenian sacristy

(26) Coptic room

(27) Greek sacristy

(28) Greek refectory

(29) Chapel of St. Helena (Armenian Chapel of St. Krikor)

(30) Chapel of the Invention of the Cross

(31) Chapel of St. Vartan

(32) apse dedicated to St. Dismas

(33) apse dedicated to St. Helena

(34) Chapel of Forty Martyrs

(35) Chapel of St. John

(36) Chapel of St. James the Less

(37) Chapel of St. Thecla

(38) Chapel of St. Mary of Egypt

(39) Chapel of St. Michael

(40) Chapel of St. James

(41) Chapel of the Angels

(42) Crusader refectory

(43) ruins of the Crusader arcade

(44) Greek Calvary (12th–13th Stations of the Cross)

(45) Rock of Golgotha

(46) Latin Calvary (11th Station of the Cross)

(47) Chapel of the Franks (10th Station of the Cross)

(48) Crusader Campanile (bell tower)

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