In Jerusalem: visiting the Church of the Holy Sepulchre
The site of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem is identified as the place both of the crucifixion and the tomb of Jesus of Nazareth. The church has long been a major pilgrimage center for Christians all around the world. According to the New Testament, Jesus was crucified at Golgotha, “the place of the skull”. This has been identified as an area of abandoned stone quarries just outside the city wall of the time. About 10 years after the crucifixion, a third wall was built that enclosed the area of the execution and burial within the city, and this accounts for the Holy Sepulchre’s location inside the Old City of Jerusalem today.
The Roman emperor Constantine I, a convert to Christianity, had the temple of Venus in Jerusalem demolished to make way for a church. In the course of the demolition a tomb was discovered that was thought to be the tomb of Jesus. The first Church of the Holy Sepulchre was approached by a flight of steps from the Cardo, the main street of Jerusalem. Then pilgrims went through a narthex; a basilica; and an open area, the “holy garden,” which had in it the rock of Golgotha, finally reaching the Holy Sepulchre itself.
These photos were taken in March 2016 during Holy Week and show tourists from different countries visiting the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.