The Church of the Holy Sepulchre

By Danny R

Location

The Holy Sepulcher is located in Israel which is where Jesus was born and where he died. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher is inside of Old Jerusalem which is the Capital of Israel and is on the West side of Jerusalem. This is where Jesus was crucified.
Big image

Description

The Church of the Holy Sepulcher does not look very exuberant from the outside, it looks as though it might be an old museum but when you enter the small single door entrance underneath a few broken columns that once formed an arcade(arch way) you'll find a steep staircase that leads to the Holy Cavalry which is said to be a hole in a rock where Jesus was Crucified. The next room is for the stone of anointing which is where Jesus was prepared for burial and is covered with banners and lamps. After that you enter the Rotunda which is also called the Aedicule and that holds the Holy Sepulcher itself. The Aedicule has two parts one part is for the Angel stone which is part of the circular stone that sealed the tomb and then there is the tomb itself.

General History

In 325/26 AD Constantine the Great found a tomb that was made by the Roman Emperor Hadrian who had built a temple dedicated to Aphrodite to contain the tomb of Jesus Christ. Constantine had the surrounding earth around the tomb cut away so that the temple was free standing and able to be manipulated. He built a church around the tomb itself. Constantine's Church was made up of two different holy sites which were the Golgotha(place where Jesus was crucified) and the Anastassis which is the tomb of Christ.


The Church has been damaged many times but 613 the Persian's attacked Jerusalem and in 614 Jerusalem fell and Damascus was captured the Holy Sepulcher was destroyed and then thousands of Christians were captured and tortured. Then in 630 Emperor Heraclius recaptured Jerusalem and restored the Church. In 746 the Church suffered damage from an earthquake. In 1009 Caliph Al-Hakim ordered that the Church be destroyed and the damage was extensive, but all was not gone, the Rotunda housing the tomb and crucifixion chamber were still standing. Later in 1049 the Byzantine rulers of Constantinople were given permission to rebuild the Church. In 1099 the First Crusaders took Jerusalem and then furthermore improved the Church to their liking. Later in 1555 the Franciscan Friars renovated the Church again due to negligence. The Franciscans also built an Aedicule or which is a small shrine and an ante-chamber which is a small room that leads to another which is in this case it lead to the tomb of Jesus Christ. The Church had another fire in 1808 which caused the Rotunda to collapse and since that was directly above the Aedicule and so that was damaged as well. They were both repaired in 1809/1810. The only part of the Aedicule that was damaged was the outside but the inside was unharmed and so when tourists go inside the Aedicule they see interior decorations from 1555. The current dome dates back to 1870, but it was restored in 1994 to 1997.

Sacredness

The Church of the Holy Sepulcher is very important to Christianity because it is supposedly where Jesus Christ's tomb is. This is significant because he played a major role in the Christian religion. This Church is as special as Siddhartha Gautama's grave to the Buddhist religion. The Holy Sepulcher is one of Jerusalem's most important shrines and is also a hotspot for pilgrimage. The Church is also architecturally interesting because it has two types of style. A Crusader type and a more Romanesque type which together they make the Church look beautiful.
Big image

Role

The Resurrection of Jesus is very important for several reasons: 1. Symbolizes the immense power of God 2. To believe in the resurrection is to believe in God, if God exists and created the universe then he has the power to raise the dead and if he did not have such power then his powers are kind of contradicting. 3. The resurrection of Jesus is a testimony to the resurrection of human beings, which is a basic tenet of the Christian faith (that when you die you go to heaven). Another example in why it is important is that in Corinthians 15 Paul gives six disastrous consequences if there had been no resurrection. These were: 1. Preaching and faith in Christ would be senseless 2. All preachers of the resurrection would be liars 3. No one would be redeemed of sin and so on. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is clearly important to Christianity and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher is all about that.

Facts

The Church of the holy sepulcher is 1,960 years old. It is said to be one of the most complex structures in existence. The first building on the spot was a pagan built by the romans in the second century. it was made of stones from the destroyed temples as a painful reminder to the Jews and the Christians that the Romans were in charge of their holy places. In the fourth century Constantine built the first church on where his mother said she found the peices of the Holy Cross. The church that was originally built small but through the years it got bigger and bigger so now it covers two whole blocks in the old city of Jerusalem