Look Up These Churches of Jerusalem Over Christmas

We left out Church of the Holy Sepulchre because everyone already knows that one.

Church of All Nations (Wikipedia)

Covid-19 may have prevented travel this year but you can still view the churches of Jerusalem over the internet. We have compiled a list for you of a few of the most important churches in Jerusalem.

Church of All Nations

This church is located where the New Testament says that Jesus is said to have prayed before his arrest by the Romans. Located on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, next to the Garden of Gethsemane, Church of All Nations is a Roman Catholic Church also known as the Church or Basilica of the Agony.

The modern church was built up between 1919 and 1924 on the ruins of old ones which were destroyed over the years.

Church of All Nations (Wikipedia)

Designed by Italian architect Antonio Barluzzi it features a bubble-domed roof, thick columns, and façade mosaic, with a Neoclassical look. The interior is divided into three aisles by six columns making it seem like one large open hall.

Church of Mary’s Tomb

Church of Mary’s Tomb (Wikipedia)

Also known as the Church of the Sepulcher of Saint Mary, the Shrine of Our Lady of Josaphat and Tomb of the Virgin Mary, this church is located at the foot of Mount of Olives opposite Jerusalem’s Old City in the Kidron Valley. According to Eastern Orthodox Christian tradition it is where Mary was buried.

It was built up and destroyed over the year several times through the Middle Ages. Franciscan friars rebuilt the church in the second half of the 14th century. The Greek Orthodox clergy later assumed control over the site. Today the tomb is officially owned by the Greek Orthodox Church and the Armenian Apostolic Church of Jerusalem.

The Church of Mary Magdalene

The Church of Mary Magdalene (Wikipedia)

Built in 1888 by Tsar Alexander III and his brothers to honor their mother, Empress Maria Alexandrovna of Russia, The Church of Mary Magdalene sits on Mt. Olives opposite the Temple Mount. Princess Alice of Battenberg, mother of the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Phillip, and mother-in-law of Queen Elizabeth II is buried there.

Dominus Flevit Church

Dominus Flevit Church (Wikipedia)

Built between 1953 and 1955, this church is located on the western slope of the Mount of Olives, facing Jerusalem’s Old City. Dominus Flevit is Latin for “The Lord Wept.” It gets its name from a New Testament story which says that Jesus cried here when he prophesized the destruction of the Second Temple. The church was designed and constructed by the Italian architect Antonio Barluzzi and is held in trust by the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land.

The new structure was built over a Byzantine mosaic floor from the Seventh Century. A necropolis used from 136 BC to AD 300 was discovered there as well as tombs from the early Second Temple era.

Dominus Flevit Church Floor Mosaic (Wikipedia)

Church of the Flagellation

Church of the Flagellation (Wikipedia)

Located in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem near the Lions Gate, the Church of the Flagellation is a Roman Catholic church. As its name suggests it is built where it is believed that Jesus was flogged by Roman soldiers before his journey down the Via Dolorosa to the site of his crucifixion. It belongs to the Franciscan Monastery of the Flagellation.

Originally built by crusaders, the church was completely redone between 1928 and 1929.

Church of the Flagellation Altar (Wikipedia)

Cathedral of Saint James

Church of Saint James (Wikipedia)

This Armenian church is located in the Armenian Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City and was first contracted in the 12th century. The Cathedral of Saint James is dedicated to two of Jesus’ apostles: his brother James and James son of Zebedee.

It serves as the principal church of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

From the Armenian Patriarchate website:

The walls of the courtyard are decorated with typical Armenian “Khatchkars” (carved stone crosses), the oldest of which dates from the 12th century. In 2013 two new khatchkars were added to the courtyard, hewn out of natural red and black stone.

Behind the tracery, where the inner courtyard or narthex begins, are three paintings. The painting above the main entrance represents the Last Judgement; on the left the Apostle St. James the Greater, brother of St. John the Evangelist, and St. James the Less, the brother of Jesus and the first bishop of the Christian community in Jerusalem; and the family of St. Gregory the Illuminator and the family of Catholicos Gregory III Pahlavuni. Also an image of Christ and the Apostles St. Thaddeus and St. Bartholomew can be seen. These Apostles of Christ are the patron Saints of the Armenian Apostolic Church, as they first preached the Gospel in Armenia.

On the left and on the right side of the main entrance are altars in the wall; on the left side in honor of St. George, and on the right side St. Nikolas. When Saladin took hold of Jerusalem, and also when the Ottoman Turks took over, the complete Church was closed for some years and only these two altars, because they were outside, could be used for prayers and services.

We may have left out the Church of the Holy Sepulchre because it is already so famous, but you can look up that church as well.

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