Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Church of the Holy Sepulchre © Meaghan O'Neill
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is the holiest Christian site in Jerusalem: the site of Jesus' crucifixion, burial and resurrection. It was first constructed in 335 by Emperor Constantine, and frequent damage has been inflicted on the structure over the centuries. Repairs have been undertaken by the religious communities that administer it.
The Church contains the Chapel of Golgotha, the three Stations of the Cross where Jesus was crucified, and the Sepulchre itself marks the place of his burial and resurrection. This incredible church is filled with treasures and should be of great historical and architectural interest regardless of one's religious beliefs, but it is an absolute must for Christians. The church is home to several different Christian denominations which all have their own styles of worship - some areas are common to all and some of the chapels are particular to certain denominations.
It is important to either join a good tour or to do some research beforehand to understand the significance of what you are seeing because this is a church, not a museum, and there is not much information available at the site. The church can get very crowded and you may have to queue for a long while to get in so it is a good idea to arrive early in the morning. Those visiting in the hope of a tranquil environment in which to pray and worship may be disappointed if they visit at a busy time. The tomb can only be entered by five people at a time so there is usually a long queue for this privilege as well.
Address: Via Dolorosa, Old City.
Transport: Bus to Jaffa Gate; from there, a walk through the Old City.
Opening times: Daily from 5am to 9pm (April to September), and 5am to 7pm (October to March).