The Holy Sepulchre Church is a sacred Christian church located in the Jerusalem Old City. The church rests on Golgotha and it is also the place where Christ was crucified. It also features the burial place of Christ. The church is also the major pilgrimage place from the start of 4th century and it is administered by the Church of Jerusalem.
The first building in this site was constructed by Constantine the Great in the year 335. At this site the True Cross where Christ was crucified was discovered by St. Helen the mother of Constantine. Later, on the site of Christ’s crucifixion the Holy Sepulchre Church was built and also three more churches were built close to it. These churches also featured the caves of St. Macarius, St. Helen and the church’s dome was completed in the 4th century.
A major part of the building was destroyed by the Persians in the year 614. During the Muslim rule the Holy Sepulchre Church remained as a Christian church, whereas majority of the churches were converted into mosques. Also the church was preserved by the Muslim rulers and protected it from destruction.
The major sites in the church are
The massive courtyard at the Holy Sepulchre Church features two main doors and a number of small chapels. It is a sacred place and a number of pilgrimages gather here to view the Patriarchate of Jerusalem and feet washing as an honor of the apostle’s feet being washed by Christ before crucifixion.
The Holy Entrance
It is the main entry to the church and it also features a small door in the main entrance. The doors are bounded by marble columns and the left column was ragged when the Holy Light had come from it.
The Holy Anointing
It is the place where Christ’s body was taken and wrapped with linen clothes and spices. At present the site features an ancient church and it is also the place where Christ was buried.
The church features a limestone marble belonging to the year 1208 and the marble slab also features massive opulent lamps. Outside the church’s wall there is a large mosaic that describes about Christ’s burial.
It is the place where Jesus Christ was nailed on the cross. At present the site features a Catholic Franciscan altar.
The Rock of Golgotha
It is the place where Christ was crucified and it is also known as Station 12. The rock is covered by a glass and the pilgrims can touch the rock by a small opening located below the altar.
The Chapel of the Crowning of the Thorns
It is situated at the starting point of Golgotha and it is also the place where the crown of thorns was put on Christ by the soldiers.
The Chapel of St. Helen
It is a massive area situated at the beginning of the stairs. It features the throne of St. Helen and the church’s original mosaic.
The Chapel of the Finding of the Cross
This chapel was built on the site where the True Cross (on which Christ was crucified) had discovered here by St. Helen.
The Chapel of the Division of the Robe
This Chapel was built on the site where the soldiers casted lots for Christ’s clothes.
The Prison of Christ
It is the place where Christ was kept before crucifixion.
The Syrian Chapel
It is the burial place at the time of Christ.
The Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene
It is the place where Christ was accompanied by Mary in between the way to the cross.
It is the main church that faces the Tomb of Christ. The church looks similar to a rectangle with a massive doom. The church also features the “Navel of the Earth” in the middle which represents the earth’s spiritual center.
The Chapel of the Angel
It features a small piece of stone which is a part of the massive stone that was rolled at Christ’s tomb. The stone also features a hand imprint which is also considered as the angel’s hand that sat here and guarded the Tomb of Christ.
The Holy Sepulchre Chapel
It features the Tomb of Christ and it is also known as the Station 14. It features a massive marble slab on the place where Christ was laid; also it features a vase with candles that marks the area where Christ’s head was rested.
One of the major attractions here is the Holy Light that has been occurring here from the 14th century. This event takes place one day before Easter and prayers are held here, later a holy light appears and two candles are lit from it.