The holiest Christian
shrine in the world is situated on the Hill of Golgotha (skull hill),
used to be an execution location outside the city walls. According
to Christian gospels, and with compatibility to archeological discoveries,
this is the real site of Jesus' crucifixion, burial and resurrection.
The beautiful architecture of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is
a combination of Crusader, Byzantine and Greek structures. In addition,
five Christian communities share the Church today: the Roman Catholic,
the Greek Orthodox, the Armenian, the Coptic and the Syrian Orthodox,
each has its own part inside the church.
In 335 AD, Constantin, the Emperor of Byzantium, and his mother, Helena,
built a splendid church on the exact site where the massive excavations
they ran revealed the tomb of Jesus. The church was completely destroyed
by Caliph El-Hakim in 1009, partly reconstructed by the Byzantines
in 1042, and entirely rebuilt by the Crusaders when they entered Jerusalem
on July 15, 1099.
However, a big fire in 1808 caused a lot of damaged to the church,
which had been repaired by the Greek Orthodox during the last century.
The architecture of the church as it exists today is therefore a combination
of Crusader, Byzantine and Greek structures.
Visitors of all religions are requested to enter the Church of the
Holy Sepulchre modestly dressed. The church is open daily from 5:00am
to 9:00pm (4:00am to 8:00pm at wintertime), admission is free. The
church can be reached from Jaffa Gate, through the Christian Quarter
St., or from the Lions Gate following Jesus' footsteps along the Via