Church of the Holy Sepulchre in East Jerusalem

2 April 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

Calvary/Golgotha © Gerd Eichmann/cc-by-sa-4.0

Calvary/Golgotha © Gerd Eichmann/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is a church in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of East Jerusalem. It contains, according to traditions dating back to the fourth century, the two holiest sites in Christianity: the site where Jesus was crucified, at a place known as Calvary or Golgotha, and Jesus’s empty tomb, where he was buried and resurrected. The tomb is enclosed by a 19th-century shrine called the Aedicula. The Status Quo, an understanding between religious communities dating to 1757, applies to the site. Within the church proper are the last four (or, by some definitions, five) stations of the Via Dolorosa, representing the final episodes of the Passion of Jesus. 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 (‘Resurrection’). Today, the wider complex 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 among 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, Roman Catholic and Armenian Apostolic, and to a lesser degree the Coptic Orthodox, Syriac Orthodox and Ethiopian Orthodox.   read more…

Theme Week Jerusalem, Al-Quds and The Holy, many names for one of the oldest cities in the world

19 October 2013 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage, Union for the Mediterranean

The Western Wall, the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa mosque © Sheepdog85/cc-by-sa-3.0-de

The Western Wall, the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa mosque © Sheepdog85/cc-by-sa-3.0-de

Jerusalem/al-Quds, located on a plateau in the Judean Mountains between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea, is one of the oldest cities in the world. It is considered holy to the three major Abrahamic religions — Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Israelis (Jerusalem Law) and Palestinians both claim Jerusalem as their capital, as Israel maintains its primary governmental institutions there and the State of Palestine ultimately foresees it as its seat of power; however, neither claim is recognized internationally (United Nations Security Council Resolution 478, International positions on Jerusalem and United States recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel). De jure, Tel Aviv (were all foreign embassies are located at) remain to be Israel’s capital, even though it is de facto West Jerusalem. The city has 800,000 inhabitants. During its long history, Jerusalem has been destroyed twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times. The oldest part of the city was settled in the 4th millennium BCE. In 1538, walls were built around Jerusalem under Suleiman the Magnificent. Today, those walls define the Old City, which has been traditionally divided into four quarters—known since the early 19th century as the Armenian, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Quarters. The Old City became a World Heritage site in 1981, and is on the List of World Heritage in Danger. What is particularly striking about the decades-long “capital dispute” is that Jerusalem before 1920 was a lot, but above all a small settlement without a capital function. In this respect, there can be no “justified claim” be given on the city. It was not until the British Mandate of Palestine that the mandate headquarters was moved to Jerusalem, so that Jerusalem became the capital of British Palestine. Scientifically proven is that the city has been one of several spiritual centers for several thousand years. However, at the beginning there was neither Christianity, Judaism nor Islam.   read more…

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