Dominus Flevit: As he [Jesus Christ] approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it” [because] “the days will come upon you when your enemies will… dash you to the ground.” (Luke 19:41)
Daily, 8am to noon, 2:30pm to 5pm
Dress modestly (knees and shoulders covered)
On the upper western slope of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem site Dominus Flevit Church, a small simple Franciscan chapel. Dominus Flevit means “the cry of the Lord.” The Dominus Flevit Church commemorates the occasion when Jesus Christ weeping over the inevitable fate of Jerusalem which was destroyed in 70 BCE by the Romans.
Like many structures in the Jerusalem area, the Dominus Flevit Church was designed by Antonio Barluzzi. He designed the church to resemble tear drops to remind visitors of the tears shed by Jesus Christ. There is a mosaic and cross designed in tiles on the floor and a gorgeous stained glass window, through which there is a beautiful view of the Temple Mount in the distance.
Though the Dominus Flevit Church is one of the newest churches in Jerusalem it sits on an ancient site. Numerous artifacts from the Canaanite period were found as well as tombs dating back to the Byzantine and the Second Temple eras.
The site of Jesus Christ weeping was not recognized until the Crusader period. Over a few years, pilgrims built a small chapel there. Jerusalem was conquered in 1187, and the original Dominus Flevit Church fell into disrepair. Then a mosque was built on the site during the 16th century. This mosque was called el Mansouriyeh or the Triumphant.
The Christians were not able to obtain the ruins of the original Dominus Flevit Church for quite some time. They worked around this by purchasing a plot of land nearby. The Franciscan order then built a small chapel on the parcel of land in 1891. Additionally, a private home was built in front of the Franciscan chapel in 1913. The home went to the Sisters of Saint Joseph, though they eventually sold it to a Portuguese woman. During the construction of the boundary wall of this private home, the workers found the remains of ancient tombs. The site was then thoroughly excavated from 1953 to 1955. The current Dominus Flevit Church was then built.
Among the exciting artifacts found were a tomb from the bronze era and a necropolis dating back between 136 BC and 300 AD. A necropolis was a building used to encase tombs. This particular necropolis spanned two different periods, as suggested by the two very different tomb styles. The Second Temple era tombs ere in the Koki style, and the Byzantine period tombs had an arcosolium from the 4th century.