Tuesday, April 30, 2019

A Visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Our Ambrosian writer Nicola’ de Grandi recently visited the Holy Land; our thanks to him for sharing with us these photos of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

The main entrance, in the area known as the ‘parvis’, or courtyard, with the Crusader-era façade and bell-tower, the latter now half of its original height.
Next to the main door is the Chapel of the Franks, which dates from the Crusader period, and is dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows. This place is also the 10th Station of the Via Dolorosa, at which Christ was stripped of His garments.
Under the right window above the doors stands the so-called “Immovable Ladder”, which has been in its place since at least 1728, when it appears in a drawing of this part of the church. The agreement that governs the use of the Holy Places by the various Christian confessions specifies that none of them may move any of the furniture without the consent of the others, and the ladder has often been referred to as a symbol of the divisions among Christians, but in point of fact, it is just a useful way for the Armenians, who own the ledge on which it rests, to get to their rooftop garden.
Ethiopian pilgrims at a tiny chapel between the site of Golgotha and the Sepulcher.
The Stone of Anointing, said to be the place where Joseph of Arimathea prepared the body of Christ for burial.
Looking up into the main body of the church.
The Altar of Mount Calvary, the site of the Crucifixion.
The entrance to the Aedicule, the structure that houses the Holy Sepulchre itself.
The rock of Golgotha, the site upon which the Cross was erected, also known as the “chapel of Adam”, from the tradition that Adam was buried on the same site.
Sneaking a photo of the dome of the Greek Orthodox part of the church, known as the Catholicon.
The chapel of the Finding of the Cross, which is officiated by the Armenian Apostolic Church.
The stairs which descend to the actual place where the Cross was found by St Helena.
External view of the dome of the Catholicon.
A monk of the Ethiopian monastery, which sits on top of the roof of the chapel of St Helena.
Ethiopians praying in their chapel, which is dedicated to St Michael.

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