The Via Dolorosa (Way of Suffering) is a historical street divided into two parts located in the Jerusalem. It is also the street where Jesus Christ passed through at the time of His crucifixion.
The Via Dolorosa has been a major destination for pilgrims since the early days of Christianity. At first the Byzantine pilgrims went on a single way without stopping in between till the end. In the 8th century a new route has been discovered starting from the Gethsemane Garden and it heads to the Mount Zion around the Temple Mount. In the Middle Ages two new routes have been discovered to the Latin Church’s east and west directions.
In between the 14th and 16th centuries the Franciscan route is the major way for the pilgrims starting from the Church of Holy Sepulchre that featured eight stations.
Today, the main route starts from the Lion’s Gate located in the Muslim Quarter and the ending point is at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The streets here are one of the busiest in the world with a number of shops.
The 14 stations of the Cross are:
It is the place where Christ was sentenced by Pontius Pilate is about 300 meters from the Lion’s Gate. An elementary school has been built at this location.
It is the place where Christ was given the cross. It features the Chapel of Judgment located to the left and it is also the same area where Jesus Christ was given the death sentence. To the right, is the Chapel of the Flagellation where the Roman soldiers had beaten Christ.
To the north direction is the Convent of the Sisters of Zion that contains the massive pieces of Lithostartos. To the west of the Lithostartos is the Ecce Homo Arch and it is the place where Pilate recognized Jesus Christ and shouted to the crowds “Ecce Homo” which means “Behold the man”. The arch was built during the period of Emperor Hadrian.
It is the place where Christ fell carrying the cross for the first time.
It is the place where Mary had seen Jesus carrying the cross. The area now features an Armenain Church of the Lady of the Spasm. The major attractions in the church are the couple of sandals which are the footprints of Mary and the floor mosaic belonging to the 5th century.
It is the place where Simon, the Cyrene, was ordered by the Roman soldiers to carry the cross of Christ. This site is located where Via Dolorosa turns to the west at al-Wad Road.
It is the place where Veronica wiped the face of Christ with a cloth and later the image of Christ is marked on the cloth. This cloth is now located at the St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome. The Station 6 is also considered as the “Church of the Holy Face”.
It is the place where Christ fell down on the ground for the second time. The area is now a Franciscan Chapel.
It is located on the market street and it is also the place where Jesus consoled the women from Jerusalem.
It is the place where Jesus Christ had fell on the ground for the third time.
The Stations 9-14 are located in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the entry is through the Station 9.
It is the place where Christ has been stripped and the site is located on the top.
It is the place where Christ is being nailed on the cross.
It is the place where Christ dies on the cross also known as Rock of Golgotha.
It is the place where Christ is being taken from the cross after his death.
It is the place where Christ is placed inside the tomb.
Every Friday at the Via Dolorosa a weekly procession is held here starting from the Pilgrims Reception Center that displays the events describing the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.