Church of the Holy Sepulchre


On Wednesday of last week Max and I walked down to the old city (about a 45 minute walk) and did a mini tour of the Christian Quarter starting with the Via Dolorosa (the path that Christ walked (even though he probably didn't)) and ending in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

(This is the path at the start of the Via Dolorosa)

(There are stacks of crosses sitting all around the Christian
Quarter. Once a week the Franciscan Friars carry them on a
procession down the Via Dolorosa. Pilgrims also do the

same thing at different times of the year.)

(This is an image at the third station of the cross)

The most fun part for us was when we found a small, narrow staircase leading to the top of the Sepulchre where the Copts and the Ethiopians have their chapels. A little side note about these two fellas: Evidently the Ethiopians had control over this area in the 1700's, but at one point many of them were killed by a plague that swept through Jerusalem. They were asking Ethiopia for more assistance when they were essentially overtaken by the Copts and the Copts had "control" over the area until about 1970. In 1970, while the Copts were down in the Sepulchre praying the Ethiopians snuck up and changed all of the locks , thus taking back control of the area. In 1970! And these are religious men! It's absolutely fascinating, and it's not the only story like this.


(These pictures were taken at one of the stations of the cross
inside the Sepulchre. This particular station is
by the Greek Orthodox Church and they were
actually having
a service when we got there. It was really
dark and people were
singing/chanting and one woman
was wailing/sighing mightily
in the corner. That lighted
area is next to an alter with a hole in the
ground. You
can reach your hand through the hole in the ground
touch the hill they think was Calvary. )

Anyway, there is a still a small Copt presence up there and we went into a small chapel that lead through a dark and scary cave/hallway ending in Queen Helena's Cistern. Evidently, Queen Helena is the mother of Constantine and the woman who first came to Jerusalem to discover and indicate where the Holy sites were. This cistern helped to supply water to those people building the Sepulchre.

(Max at the entrance to the Coptic chapel)


  1. Your beautiful photos are inspiring and make me want to paint. I hope you won't be offended if I use the as reference for a painting someday...

  2. It all sounds so fascinating! I am quite a history lover, so I adore reading all this jazz. :) Very, very cool

  3. I second that- your pictures are fantastic! How do you do it?!

  4. Spoons, Forks, Cooking Utensils and a Broom
    50 NIS (New Israeli Shekels)

    Floor Mop
    46 NIS

    Comforter, Sheets, Duvet Cover, tiny pillow cases
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    Amazing Falafel and Water
    11 NIS

    Super Sharp Fancy Knife (you only need one)
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    $87 US dollars

    living in the holy land with a man that looks like he belongs on the geico commercial..... priceless.