The Church of the Holy Sepulcher

Church of the Holy Sepulcher: Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. (Acts 2:29)


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Hours: April – September 5am to 8pm
October – March 5am to 7pm
Phone: 02/627-3314

The Church of the Holy Sepulcher


The Church of the Holy Sepulcher is also known as the Church of the Resurrection. The Eastern Orthodox Christians in Jerusalem call it the Anastasis. It stands in Old Jerusalem on a site that has both the sepulcher (tomb) of Jesus and Golgotha (Calvary) where Jesus was crucified. It is at the intersection of Suq Khan e-Zeit and Christian Quarter Road in Jerusalem. Beginning in the 4th century the Holy Sepulcher was a place for pilgrimages among Christians, and it still remains the holiest of Christian sites in the entire world.

Just inside the entrance of the church is the Stone of Unction. This commemorates the preparation of Jesus’ body for burial. It is a limestone slab dating back to 1808, because the 12th century slab was destroyed. Behind the Stone of Unction is a mosaic painting of Jesus’ anointing for burial.

There is a stairway to the right of the entrance that leads to Golgotha. The first chapel is the Catholic Chapel of the Nailing of the Cross (which is Station 11 on the Via Dolorosa). It also has a mosaic of Jesus. This one depicts Jesus being nailed to the cross. The Chapel of the Agony of the Virgin can be seen out the window in the south wall. There is a statue of Mary to the left of the altar depicting Mary weeping over Jesus body after he is removed from the cross (Station 13).

Connected to the Catholic Chapel is the Greek Orthodox Calvary. It is built around the Rock of Calvary (Station 12). Beneath Calvary on the main floor is the Chapel of Adam. To the west of the Stone of Unction, the visitors finally arrive at the Holy Sepulcher Church. The Rotunda is much like it was in the 4th century. There is a large dome completed in the 1960s. This dome is over the Tomb of Christ enshrined in a large shrine.

The shrine contains two small rooms. The first is the Greek Orthodox Chapel of the Angel and the Chapel of the Holy Sepulcher (this contains the Tomb of Christ itself). This sacred site at the Holy Sepulcher Church has so much more to see, making it a must see for any visitor to the Holy Lands.


Christians celebrated this site as early as 66AD. This early mention of the spot authenticates the Holy Sepulcher Church as the location of the burial of Jesus. It was buried beneath a pagan temple until Constantine converted to Christianity in 312 AD. He commissioned the building of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in 326 AD. This original church of the Holy Sepulcher is much larger than the one today. It was damaged in 614 by the Persian invasion. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher was reconstructed under the leadership of Modestus. The Muslims continued to protect it when the Omar took over the Holy Lands, but in 1009 Hakim destroyed the sacred chapel. The church was rebuilt and renovated by the Crusaders. Now the Greek Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic and the Roman Catholic churches are custodians of the site, overseeing day to day tasks and major projects.





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