April 23, 2024

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Outside the Church of Holy Sephulcre Outside the Church of Holy Sephulcre © Michael Sheridan - Dreamstime.com

Located in the Christian Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City lies the historic Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This beautiful church is of tremendous religious importance and still serves as a chief focus for Christian pilgrims since two of the most crucial events of the life of Jesus occurred here, which are discussed below.


Originally built in the 4th century by Constantine the Great, the church has been destroyed and subsequently restored multiple times. Helena, Constantine’s mother, located the site of the cavalry and the tomb of Jesus. Constantine then built this church in that area. The Church that stands today mostly consists of structures from the Crusader era.

Biblical significance

According to the Bible, the Calvary is the site of the crucifixion of Jesus. Until recently after the discovery of the Garden Tomb, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was the only place that qualified as the place of crucifixion, burial, and resurrection of Jesus and is popular amongst Christian tradition. The Bible mentions the place of crucifixion as being outside the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem, very close to the City. This site fits the description because it wasn’t included in the Old City until the walls of the Old City were expanded later on.

Parts of the church

  • Stone of Anointing: As soon as you enter the church, you see the Stone of Anointing, which is a reddish chunk of stone where Jesus is believed to have been prepared for his burial. The wall at the back of the stone depicts a Greek pictogram in mosaic illustrating the removal of Jesus from the cross and then the subsequent preparation for burial.
  • Tomb of Christ and its Edicule – The tomb is sheltered by a shrine called edicule. It is believed that Jesus rose from the dead here after three days! Above this is a beautiful dome with a circular opening for the passage of light.
  • Bell tower: This splendid tower only added to the beauty of the Church and was built by the Crusaders but then later, partially collapsed. It’s size today is about half of what it used to be in the old days.
  • Rock of Calvary: Protected by glass walls, this rock protrudes from the walls of the main aisle.
  • Chapels: The church contains more than twenty chapels! These include the Coptic Chapel, Chapel of St. Joseph, Chapel of the Apparition, Chapel of St. Longinus, Chapel of the Division of Raiment and Chapel of St. Helena, amongst others! Each chapel marks a significant historic event with its own story.
  • First-century tombs: A few other first century tombs have been maintained inside the Church and these serve as evidence of the fact that this place is, indeed, the place where the tomb of Jesus also lies.

The control of the church is shared amongst various Christian communities and an agreement exists between them called the “Status Quo.”

The intense gravity of the incidents that happened here in Jesus’ life makes it a very popular pilgrimage place for Christians, who develop a spiritual connection with this place and discover inner peace here!









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Last modified on Saturday, 27 October 2018 03:25
Nathan Gopen

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Nathan Gopen is a professional software engineer and MIT graduate. He is committed to using his skills in software, multimedia and graphic design to create inspiring and powerful new ways of comprehending and studying the vast riches of God's Word.

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