The First Day – Church of the Sepulchre (Jerusalem)

After waiting quite a long time in St. Anne’s for the rain to let up a bit, we walked the Via Dolorosa about as quickly as we possibly could (so as not to get too wet).

Map - Sepulchre

It passed through the Muslim Quarter, including a very busy market, before coming out in a reasonably large square.

01 - Outside

Just inside the entrance were stairs leading off to the right, up to Golgotha.

02 - Golgotha

It used to be a quarry, so what was up those stairs was part of a large rock, one of the last bits of semi-quarried stone in the church. I didn’t go up the stairs myself, but when we went around the corner a bit, we could see the bottom part of the rock behind a glass case.

The Church of the Sepulchre is administered by six churches: Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Coptic Christians, Arminian Orthodox, Ethiopian Orthodox, and Russian Orthodox. All except the Copts agree on one grave site, which is immediately inside the entrance. It’s got an ornate surrounds and incense hung all above it; people were coming up to kiss the stone, to pour oil on it, or to rub cloth on it.

We went anti-clockwise around the corner and passed the aforementioned rock, as well as several other chapels belonging to various churches. The last one we came to was the Coptic grave site, which was inside a wooden box and had queues of people outside it. We went into the back wall, where a mostly untouched tomb from the same era was to go and look inside.

After leaving the Church of the Sepulchre, we headed west towards the Jaffa Gate. (The biggest gate in Jerusalem is the Jaffa Gate, and the biggest gate in Jaffa is the Jerusalem Gate. It’s because Jaffa used to be the port of Jerusalem).

Map - Lunch

We went to Christ Church, which is the first Protestant church to be built in Jerusalem. I’m assuming it’s Anglican, but that hasn’t been confirmed for me.

04 - Picture

caption reads: “the English church & consulate, and the tower of David”

As well as the church, Christ Church also has a hotel, a café, and a restaurant, so we had lunch there.

03 - Lunch

It was 50 shekels (about $15) for chicken, pasta, potato, salad and fruit. Water was on the tables. There were just four large tables and you just sort of sat with anyone. I ended up on a table of mostly volunteers from the church: one from Texas, one from Ukraine, one from Poland, and two from England (one from Somerset but Surrey originally).

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4 thoughts on “The First Day – Church of the Sepulchre (Jerusalem)

  1. Ruth Hay says:

    glad to see that the camera is working again. Shame there are lots of tourists but good at the same time that you are meeting and talking to some others that aren’t in your group.

  2. Rachel says:

    I’ve been doing some internet research on Christ Church, and it *is* Anglican. Apparently I missed an opportunity for a “worship” service there last night at 7, and the next English services aren’t until Wednesday morning, by which time we will be traipsing along behind Yuval doing who-knows-what (according to the schedule, we’re meant to be doing Olives and Scopus on Wednesday, but we’ve already done that and I can’t imagine we’ll be hiking because it’s still meant to be wet). Which is a shame, because after all the chaos, craziness, and speed of the last week, I could really do with Eucharist and an Anglican ladies’ Bible study right about now. (http://www.cmj-israel.org/CMJ-Ministries/Christ-Church/Services).

  3. Helen Hayes says:

    Awsome photos. Love reading your blogs. How about some with you in them?

  4. Helen Hayes says:

    After all, you need to be able to prove to your future children that you were there.

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