Containing the last five Stations of the Cross of the Via Dolorosa, this is the holiest Christian site in Jerusalem. The church was built over the sites where tradition states Jesus’ crucifixion, burial and resurrection occurred and pilgrims from across the world pour through the doors into the cavernous church, whose architectural styles reflect the different denominations that have quarrelled over its development for centuries. Upon entering the church, the little stairway to the right leads to the Chapel of Golgotha where Jesus was stripped, crucified and removed from the cross. The Sepulchre itself is at the centre of the church and marks where Jesus is believed to have been buried and resurrected. The site of the church was first chosen in the fourth century by Queen Helena and the existing structure dates mainly from the period of the Crusades. A maze of ornately decorated corridors and chapels weave into the darkness, adding to the church’s intrigue.
Things to see in Jerusalem
Israeli Government Tourist Office (IGTO)
Tourist Information Center, Jaffa Gate, Old City.
Tel: (02) 627 1422 or 628 0403.
Opening hours: Sun-Thurs 0830-1700, Fri 0830-1200.
There are several discount passes and coupons available. The Jerusalem Pass (http://travelpass1.itraveljerusalem.com) offers big discounts on entertainment, restaurants and attractions. The Old City Bites card (www.haatika.co.il) and Shuk Bites card (www.machne.co.il) allow visitors to sample the tasty delights of the Old City bazaars and Mahane Yehuda Market respectively. Also worth checking out are Jerusalem Coupons (www.jcpns.com) and AngloDeals (www.anglodeals.co.il).