Israel Pilgrim Tours

Church of the Holy Sepulcher

Location marked Location on the mapon the Virtual map of the Holy Land:
Map of Israel
Nazareth

According to the present day mayor, Ramiz Jaraisy, Nazareth is not just another city; it is a "priceless national asset. Part of humanity's history and heritage."

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Church of the Annunciation
Church of St. Gabriel
Synagogue Church

Church of the Nativity

Starting from the recent and moving back to the past, the Church of the Nativity was the scene of the hostage crisis in 2005, for which there was a bloodless resolution thanks to the fine mediators on the scene.

Church of the Nativity

Shepherd's Field

Located in Bet Sahour, which is east of Bethlehem, Shepherd's Field is where the angels appeared to shepherds and announced the birth of Jesus.

Shepherd's Field
Megiddo (Armageddon)

Mt. Megiddo, in the center of Israel that is known as the location at which the eventual disaster will erupt in some way. As the Hebrew word for mountain is "Har", the connection in even stronger.

Megiddo
Caesarea Philippi

Caesarea Philippi is situated on one of four springs
feeding the Jordan River. It sits on the southwestern
slope of Mount Hermon, on a terrace 1,150 feet
(350 meters) overlooking a fertile valley.

Caesarea Philippi
Bethsaida

See Bethsaida on Sea of Galilee, site of several miracles as
well as recent archaeological findings from the time of Jesus.

Bethsaida
Cana

The actual location of Cana is something of a biblical blur and is surrounded by speculation. The modern town of Kfar Kana is situated in the Galilee, five miles northeast of Nazareth, and is populated by Christians and Muslims.

Cana
Capernaum

Capernaum is the place where Jesus began to preach after the Temptation in the Wilderness, which is the first recorded event following His baptism.

Capernaum
Ein Karem

Famous for being the birthplace of John the Baptist, Ein Karem is a village on the west side of Jerusalem and home to five different sites important to the Christian pilgrimage...

Ein Karem
Emmaus

Emmaus has significance in both the Christian and Jewish narrative. Located a bit off the modern day Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway, Emmaus is an important site in the Christian narrative since...

Emmaus
Jardenit

Situated where the Bible's most famous river, the Jordan, emerges from the Sea of Galilee, Jardenit is the site where Christians have reaffirmed their faith for over 2,000 years.

Jardenit
Jezreel Valley

The Jezreel Valley is known under many names including Campus Legionis, Esdraelon, Plain of Megiddo and many more. Its claim to fame for the Christian pilgrim is the fact that the Bible speaks of ...

Jezreel Valley
House of Simon the Tanner

A particularly significant event in Christian history took place in Jaffa (“Joppa”). Documented in the Book of Acts, it is related that while visiting the house of Simon the tanner ...

House of Simon the Tanner
Latrun

The monastery at Latrun is a well known destination for the Christian pilgrim. The site, located on the road between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem was first established in 1890 by ...

Latrun
Mount of Beatitudes

The Church of the Sermon on the Mount is another location that is in some dispute. It is possible that this is the actual site of the sermon, but not very likely, according to Christian scholars.

Mount of Beatitudes
Tabgha

Not a city or town as such, Tabgha is a small area on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee, near the ancient Capernaum and the hill where the Mount of Beatitudes is situated.

Tabgha
Milk Grotto

In Bethlehem, the Church of the Milk Grotto is traditionally known to be a site where Mary stopped to breastfeed the infant Jesus while fleeing to Egypt...

Milk Grotto
Mount Tabor

Cited in both the Old and New Testaments, Mount Tabor is a hill rising 500 meters above the Jezreel Valley in the Galilee. In ancient times it was in a strategic position overlooking the north-south road...

Mount Tabor
Qumran

Qumran is famous for its proximity to the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Vanishing from site and mind for the most part after its destructions by the Romans in around 68 C.E. ...

Qumran
Monastery of St. George

Located in Wadi Qelt in the eastern West Bank, the St. George Orthodox Monastery is a sixth-century cliff-hanger, literally: It is built into the cliffs of the wadi and is inhabited by Greek Orthodox monks...

Monastery of St. George
Sepphoris

Known as Zippori in Hebrew, Sepphoris was a prosperous and beautiful town in Jesus’ day, a hike of just a couple of hours from Nazareth.

Sepphoris
Stella Maris

Stella Maris is a Carmelite Order monastery in Haifa, Israel's third largest city. It is located where 12th century religious hermits, imitating Elijah's cave-dwelling, organized themselves during the Crusader occupation.

Stella Maris
Bethany

Site of a 2,000 year old structure that is reputed to be the House of Martha and Mary, Bethanyis naturally a popular pilgrimage destination, though there is some controversy about whether it is the exact site of the original village.

Bethany
Migdala

Migdala was the only village established on the shore of the Sea of Galilee just west of the modern Tiberius-Rosh Pina road.

Migdala

Housing the tomb in which Jesus is buried, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, known also as the Church of the Resurrection to Orthodox Christians, is located in the Old City of Jerusalem. It stands on the Calvary or Golgotha, the spot of the crucifixion. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher is the most important of all pilgrimage destinations and the holiest Christian site in the world.

Until the Romans took over the city in 66 AD, the early Christians of Jerusalem appear to have gathered at the tomb to hold liturgical celebrations. This custom wasn’t allowed to continue for even a full century when, as so often happened, worship to a different god was planned for the location. A temple to Aphrodite was erected in the same spot by the Emperor Hadrian who filled in the area believed to be the exact location of the crucifixion with rocks from the nearby quarry. Hadrian did so for practical reasons, to create level land for the foundation of his temple for Aphrodite. Practical or not, the site that was sacred to Christians was inaccessible for a few hundred years. The site remained buried and served as a pagan temple into the fourth century; at which time Emperor Constantine the Great converted to Christianity. Showing an interest in his new religion, the emperor started giving out commissions to build churches, the most important being the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Building began in 326 AD.

During the building, the rubble from the quarry was cleared away, along with the remains of Hadrian’s temple. According to modern Christian historians, it was during this process that the Rock of Golgotha was unearthed. Constantine’s mother, St. Helena entered the picture when, it is said, she discovered the True Cross near the tomb. It is a very early legend, saying that she actually found three crosses, that of Christ and those of the two thieves where were crucified alongside him that day. The legend continues that in order to determine which one was the cross of Christ, an ill man was brought to the spot and told to touch all three of the crosse4s, becoming well when he touched one of them, this being the cross on which Christ was crucified.

The Constantinian church that was formally dedicated in 33 was much larger than the one that stands today, though its design was simpler. Like nearly all the sites of churches in the Holy Land, this one went through transformations during the centuries as well. The building was damaged badly when the Persians invaded Jerusalem in 614 AD, capturing the True Cross in the process. However, Emperor Heraclius triumphed when he re-took Jerusalem in 630 and restored the True Cross to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

The status quo did not last long; in 638 the Christians surrendered Jerusalem to the Muslims lead by the caliph Omar. In an act of exceeding generosity and sensitivity, for that time or any other, Omar refused to pray in the church in order that the radical Muslim believers would not take it over, saying “Omar prayed here,” magically making it into a mosque under Islamic jurisdiction. Instead, due to Omar’s foresight and generosity, The Holy Sepulcher continued to function as a Christian church under the protection of Omar until 1009. But Omar did not rule or live forever and after the changing of the guard, the new caliph, Hakim, systematically destroyed the church. Had Omar prayed in the church, thus turning it into a mosque in the early days, Hakim would have ignored it. Instead, the result was disastrous; Hakim completely destroyed the east and west walls. The Christian community could not afford repairs but in 1048 Emperor Constantine Monomachos provided some funds – though not enough – for the rebuilding, on condition that it be supervised by the caliphate. A great part was abandoned; the courtyard and the rotunda remained but the atrium and basilica were lost completely. It was in this church that the knights of the first crusade sang the Te Deum on July 15, 1099. The crusader chief Godfrey Bouillon, who became the first king of Jerusalem declared himself “Defender of the Holy Sepulcher.” The Crusaders were also slow to renovate, beginning to make modifications to the Romanesque style in 1112. They built a monastery and excavated the Crypt of St. Helena, replacing the shrine of Christ’s tomb only in 1119. The Constantinian courtyard was covered with a Romanesque church, connected to the rotunda by an arched opening. A bell tower was added in 1170. The entrance to the inner chamber and the tomb itself is through a narrow door in the east side of the entrance area and there is generally a waiting line to enter.

Today the church is controlled by the Greek Orthodox Church.

Interesting Holyland Places Nearby:

Jerusalem
Church
Places
Additional Images: 
Church of the Holy Sepulcher
Painting the dome Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem
Prayer stone in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher
Holy Land Articles

Located on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem next to the Garden of Gethsemane, the Church of All Nations, also known as the Church or Basilica of the Agony, is a Roman Catholic Church.

Located in the middle of Nazareth’s old market in the Churches district, the Synagogue Church is adjacent to the Greek Catholic Church of Annunciation, which in turn is located near the famous Basilica of the Annunciation.

Located in Wadi Qelt in the eastern West Bank, the St. George Orthodox Monastery is a sixth-century cliff-hanger, literally: It is built into the cliffs of the wadi and is inhabited by Greek Orthodox monks.
 

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