Crusader Church: Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them. (Luke 24:13-15)
Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday 8:30 am to 11 am; 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm
Located on the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem Highway, 10 kilometers from West Jerusalem sits a quiet Israeli-Arab village called Abu Gosh. It was originally named for an Arab clan who charged pilgrims a toll along the highway. The inhabitants are known for peaceful relations with their Jewish neighbors and chose neutrality in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.
Apart from being a cultural site known for the cuisine and hospitality, the Crusader Church of the Resurrection is one of Abu Gosh’s beloved sites. To reach the Crusader Church turn left on the main road near the green and white sign. Follow down this lane until a blue gate and a structure behind a wall becomes apparent. If the blue gate should be closed, ring the bell. A monk will come and open the gate for pilgrims and visitors to the Crusader Church at Abu Gosh.
There is an exquisite garden with lush landscaping just inside the gated walls. Strolling down the path lined with palm trees and flowers will bring you to the entrance of the Crusader Church of the Resurrection. There are restored fresco paintings along the walls depicting the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
This church, dedicated to the resurrection of Jesus after his crucifixion is built in a Romanesque or Gothic style of architecture. It contains a triple nave and a crypt and spring below.
The Crusader Church of the Resurrection fell out of use and was used as a stable for quite some time. Then, in 1899 the French government bought the building. The Lazarists Order has maintained the property since 1956.
There is an inscription near the entrance stating that before the Crusader Church’s construction in 1142, there was a Roman fort for the units from the 10th legion. The fort stood at that location for over 1000 years. The Crusader Church of the Resurrection was destroyed in 1187, but much effort has been expended bringing it back to its original beauty. In fact, it has been described as the most perfectly preserved crusader structures in Palestine. Excavations conducted in 1944 affirmed the Crusaders’ original belief that Abu Gosh was the site of the biblical city of Emmaus.