The Church of Holy Sepulchre

The Tomb of Christ

Photographs by Eddie Gerald  

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem contains, according to traditions dating back at least to the fourth century, the two holiest sites in Christianity: the site where Jesus of Nazareth was crucified, known as "Calvary" and Jesus's empty tomb, where he is said to have been buried and resurrected. The tomb is enclosed by the 18th-century shrine, called the Edicule (Aedicule).

 

Within the church proper are the last four Stations of the Via Dolorosa, representing the final episodes of Jesus' Passion. The church has been a major Christian pilgrimage destination since its creation in the fourth century, as the traditional site of the Resurrection of Christ, thus its original Greek name, Church of the Anastasis. Today the wider complex accumulated during the centuries around the Church of the Holy Sepulchre also serves as the headquarters of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, while control of the church itself is shared between several Christian denominations and secular entities in complicated arrangements essentially unchanged for over 160 years, and some for much longer.

 

The main denominations sharing property over parts of the church are the Greek Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox and Roman Catholic, and to a lesser degree the Egyptian Copts, Syriacs and Ethiopians. Meanwhile, Protestants including Anglicans have no permanent presence in the Church and they generally prefer the Garden Tomb, elsewhere in Jerusalem, as either the true place of Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection, or at least a more evocative site to commemorate those events.

Click photos to enlarge & read captions.

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