Church of the Holy Sepulcher

Church of the Holy Sepulcher

The Church of the Holy Sepulcher was built in the 4th century CE by Constantine and Helena. It is the most likely place for Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection.

The main factors considered determining this are as follows:

  • the site was located outside of the city walls in the first century CE
  • the place was quarried heavily in the 1st and 2nd temple periods, leaving an outcropping of brittle ’rejected’ stone
  • early historians note that a Temple of Aphrodite was erected on the site by the Romans
  • Constantine and Helena dismantle the Temple of Aphrodite and uncover the first century tomb and the hill believed to be Golgotha (both had been encased by the Temple of Aphrodite)
  • beneath the pavement of the church were discovered numerous holes which look like postholes for crucifixion.
  • oral tradition back to the 4th century CE that marked it as the spot


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The Rooftop of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher

Upon leaving Station IX of the Via Dolorosa, visitors enter the confines of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher’s precint from its rooftop. Here, one can see the monastic living quarters of the Ethiopian and Coptic…



The Sepulcher (3 images)

The sepulcher or tomb is encased by a structure known as the Edicule. The entrance of the tomb faces the Greek Orthodox chapel which holds the omphalos (literally ’the belly button’ or center of the…