Church of the Holy Sepulchre

This is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. It is supposedly built on the site of Golgotha, where Jesus was crucified. A temple of Venus was on the site at the time before hand which was torn down to build the new church.. It is a popular tourist attraction at Christmas and Easter, along with the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is controlled by a number of denominations including the Eastern Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic, and Roman Catholic Churches, with the Greek Orthodox Church having the lion’s share. In the 19th century, the Coptic Orthodox, the Ethiopian Orthodox and the Syriac Orthodox acquired lesser responsibilities.

There is a very strict Status Quo agreement in force within the structure. Times and places of worship for each community are strictly regulated in common areas.Under the status quo, no part of what is designated as common territory may be so much as rearranged without consent from all communities. Therefore large parts of the common areas are in bad need of repairs. Police are often called to break up fights and other violence.

One problem used to be lockouts. However, in 1192, the Muslim leader Saladin assigned an Islamic family the keys to the doors, and the same family (along with a second Moslem family) still control this function today.


Despite all of the silliness, if you ever get a chance to visit the building, please do. They also have a good website.

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