Monday - Friday 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM, Pacific Standard Time

Top Christian Holy Land Sites in Jerusalem Top Christian Holy Land Sites in Jerusalem

Top Ten Holy Land sites in Jerusalem

Rate this item
(1 Vote)

The Holy City of Jerusalem, where the Temple once stood is home to hundreds of Christian holy sites associated with the Christian world. After all, it is Jerusalem where Jesus brings his disciples to challenge the Judean status quo, where the Last Supper takes place, and it is here where Jesus is arrested, crucified and resurrected. With countless sites to consider visiting during a Christian Holy Land tour, read our guide for our top ten Holy Land sites in Jerusalem.

1. Church of the Holy Sepulchre
For Christian Pilgrims, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre contains the two holiest sites in Christianity; the site where Jesus was crucified, at the site known as “Golgotha” or “Calvary,” and Jesus empty tomb, where tradition marks his burial and resurrection. The church was built over ruins of a pagan temple until the conversion of the Emperor Constantine in 312 AD, when his devout mother St. Helena commissioned many churches to be built in Israel. The most important of these was the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the largest and perhaps one of the most complex buildings in the world. The church contains the last five Stations of the Cross including the 14th and final station, and is occupied by six different Christian denominations; Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic, Coptic, Syriac Orthodox, and Ethiopian churches.

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Location: Christian Quarter, Old City

2. Mount of Olives
The Mount of Olives is a prominent location mentioned in the Scriptures, first as King David’s escape route during the rebellion of his son, later in the prophets, however it is most known and referred in the New Testament, where Jesus’ taught his pupils, where he wept over Jerusalem (Matthew 26:36-39), and where Jesus ascended in to heaven (acts 1). The Mount of Olives is home to several important churches and holy sites; the Chapel of the Ascension built at the top of Mount of Olives with stunning panoramic views of Jerusalem. Dominus Flevit Church which translates to “The Lord Wept.” The Church of all Nations also known as the Basilica of the Agony, and the adjoining Garden of Gethsemane. The Russian Orthodox Church of Maria Magdalene. The convent of Pater Noster, built where according to tradition Jesus instructed his disciples, and at the foot of the Mount of Olives is the Church of the Sepulchre of Saint Mary, also known as the Tomb of the Virgin Mary. The Mount of Olives is also home to The Jewish Cemetery, the oldest continually used cemetery in the world.

Mount of Olives

Location: East of Jerusalem Old City

3. Via Dolorosa
For many Christian pilgrims, the Via Dolorosa (Way of Sorrow) is a spiritual highlight when touring Jerusalem. The traditional walk follows the route of Jesus after his condemnation as he carries his cross to be executed in Calvary. Daily guided tours, and tourist on their own can easily follow the route, however if you’re visiting on Friday, you can join the Franciscan monks in procession along the Via Dolorosa. The route is marked by 14 Stations of the Cross, several which are based on the Gospel, and other on pilgrim and local tradition. The walk starts in the Muslim Quarter, the 1st station near HaPrakhim Street, heading west there are eight other stations until you reach the Church of the Holy Sepulchre where the last five Stations of the Cross are located. Of great interest along the route is the Church of the Flagellation, a Franciscan complex which includes a monastery located in the Muslim Quarter, and is adjacent to the Church of the Condemnation and Imposition of the Cross. The site is traditionally marked as the place where the Roman soldiers flogged Jesus after he was convicted and sentenced to death by crucifixion (John 19:17-19).

Via Dolorosa

Location: Via Dolorosa Street, Old City

4. The Garden Tomb
The Garden Tomb is a site discovered in 1867 and is an alternate location of the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection of Jesus for some Christians. The Garden contains a rock formation in the shape of a skull, perhaps the one mentioned in the bible as Golgotha or also known as “Calvary.” The Garden Tomb provides a quiet and beautiful ambiance for prayer and reflection. There are places to sit and rest along the Garden, drinking water and pleasant tourist facilities, including provision for the disabled with very good wheelchair access along the entire grounds. The site of Garden Tomb has gained great popularity specially with Evangelical and Protestant Christians.

The Garden Tomb

Location: Jerusalem, outside the Old City walls

5. Mount Zion
Mount Zion is a hill just outside the Old City walls and where many important Gospel events took place; The Last Supper (Matthew 26:17-30; Mark 14:12-25; Luke 22:7-23; John 13:1—17:26), the coming of the Holy Spirit on the disciples known as the Pentecost to Christians (Acts 2:1-13), two events believed to have taken place on the holy site of the Cenacle. Mount Zion is also home to several important churches including the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu, constructed atop the home of the high priest Caiaphas (Matthew 26:57-75), and the Church of the Dormition, which commemorates the "falling asleep" of the Virgin Mary on Mount Zion, as the Church name suggest.

Mount Zion

Location: Jerusalem, outside the Old City walls

6. Christian Quarter
The Christian Quarter inside the Old City walls is situated northwest of the quadrant and is the epicenter of Christianity worldwide home to as many as 40 Christian holy sites, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, perhaps the most significant site in all Christianity. Within the maze of alleyways you’ll find the Via Dolorosa, the path in which Jesus walked from his arrest to his Crucifixion, marked by the 14 Stations of the Cross. The Christian Quarter is also home to hundreds of tourist souvenir shops, and a popular place to buy Rosaries, Holy water, religious items and other Holy Land souvenirs. Besides the two main holy sites already mentioned the quarter is also home to the Protestant Christ Church, with a unique museum and popular café. Worth seeing are the frescoes of Queen Sheba visiting Jerusalem at the Ethiopian Monastery, situated in a corner of The Church of the Holy Sepulchre’s courtyard. Visit the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer along the Muristan Road where you can go up to the bell tower for the best view of the Old City. And worth visiting is the oldest church in Jerusalem, the Church of St. John the Baptist off of Christian Quarter Street.

Christian Quarter

Location: Old City, Jerusalem

7. Church of St. John the Baptist
Originally constructed in the 5th century, the Church of St. John the Baptist has an interesting history including being the headquarters of the Knights Hospitallers, where injured Crusaders were cared for during the 1099 siege of Jerusalem. some of the grateful knights after their recovery, remained in Jerusalem and dedicated themselves to the military defense of Jerusalem and welcoming Holy Land pilgrims. The Greek church not to be confused with the Franciscan church on the Mount of Olives can be easily recognized due to its unique silver dome. Although not regularly visited by pilgrims, the church is worth the effort to see it, since it’s the oldest church in Jerusalem and the original “Hospital of St. John,” for which the Knights Hospitallers were named.

Location: Christian Quarter, Old City

8. Church of All Nations
Also known as The Basilica of Agony, is Located atop the Mount of Olives, this Catholic church enshrines a section of bedrock where it is said Jesus prayed before his arrest (Mark 14:32-42). Twelve different nations contributed to the construction of the church, thus the name the “Church of All Nations,” and they are recognized in glass ceiling decorations and mosaics. Don't miss the remains of the fourth century and Crusader churches which preceded the current structure.

Church of all Nations

Location: Mount of Olives, Jerusalem

9. Chapel of the Ascension
The site of the Chapel of the Ascension is where tradition holds the place where Jesus ascended to heaven 40 days after his resurrection. A slab of stone inside the small octagonal chapel may contain one of Jesus footprints. The original site was home to a large Christian church and monastery built by St. Helena lasting until 1187, abandoned by Christians moving to Acre as a result of Sultan Saladin conquering the area. Because Muslims also recognize the Ascension of Jesus, the church was converted into a mosque, however the majority of pilgrims to the site were Christians, and because of this the small Chapel remained in the area.

Chapel of the Ascencion

Location: Mount of Olives, Jerusalem

10. Church of the Dormition Abbey
Also Dormition Abbey, is the traditional site of where the Virgin Mary died – or “fell asleep,” as the name of the church suggests meaning “Eternal sleep.” Situated on a prominent location on Mount Zion, outside the Old City walls, and is a fortress-like structure, with conical roof and towers. Nearby is the bell tower of the Hagia Maria Sion Abbey, a Benedictine monastery. The complex is only one hundred years old, however it was built over stone ruins, and known to be in the general area frequented by the disciples and Jesus during his last days in Jerusalem. Nearby on you’ll also find the Room of the Last Supper, and the Tomb of King David.

Holy Land Sites Dormition Abbey

Location: Mount Zion, Jerusalem

Holy Land Tours

Editor and developer of holylandtourstravel.com

www.holylandtourstravel.com

Media

Jerusalem