Where God Died & Rose Again: Inside the Ancient Church of the Holy Sepulchre

JLascar, Flickr, Wikipedia, CC BY 2.0 / Glogger, Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

One of the coolest things about Christianity is that it is based on real history: real people, real events, real places. You can actually see relics of these holy people and then visit the places where these amazing events took place.

One of the most important sites in the world for Christians is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, which claims to have within its walls the locations of both Christ’s crucifixion and his resurrection.

Talk about a pilgrimage site to end all pilgrimage sites! But how could both of those sites be in one church?

Here’s a diagram of how the church is laid out:

Yupi666, Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

As you can see, the places believed to be the locations of the crucifixion and the resurrection can be in one church since they are so close to each other.

The church’s history goes back to the 4th century when Emperor Constantine ordered a church be built on the site long held to be the place of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. Since then, however, the building has since been damaged and rebuilt or renovated several times.

Here’s a tour of this holy place (descriptions in captions):

The exterior / JLascar, Flickr, Wikipedia, CC BY 2.0
Pantocrator mosaic above main worship space known as the Catholicon / Edmund Gall, Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0
The Catholicon, the main worship space of the church / Sailing Nomad, Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Another view of the Catholicon / Edmund Gall, Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0
The dome above the Aedicule, which houses Christ’s tomb and the site of his resurrection / Dirk Dallas, Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0
Golgotha altar, site of the crucifixion / Chadica, Wikipedia, CC BY 2.0
Another view of Golgotha altar, site of the crucifixion / Glogger, Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0
A detail from the Golgotha altar / Matthew Roth, Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0
The Stone of Anointing, where Jesus’ body was anointed before burial / Wayne McLean, Wikipedia, CC BY 2.5
The Aedicule, which houses Christ’s tomb and the site of his resurrection / Jlascar, Wikipedia, CC BY 2.0
Inside the Aedicule, which houses the place of Christ’s burial and resurrection / / adriatikus, WIkipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0
“Graffiti” crosses left by crusaders / Victorgrigas, Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0
Some hanging oil lamps / scottgunn, Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0
The Prison of Christ, where he was held before his death / Ian and Wendy Sewell, Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0
Another view of the exterior / RonAlmog, Flickr, CC BY 2.0
A rooftop view of the church / israeltourism, Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

And of course, the famous ladder:

Wilson44691, Wikipedia, Public Domain

Read more about the ladder: The Sad Reason Why No One Has Moved This Church’s Ladder for 300 Years

[See also: 16 Churches So Beautiful They’ll Take Your Breath Away]

[See also: Where God Was Born: A Tour Inside the Holy Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem]