An Evening Walk To the Holy Sepulcher
We really had anticipated Jerusalem to be busy at Christmas time, but surprisingly it wasn't, as evidenced by our evening walk. Perhaps it was late--7pm didn't seem so late to me, but not much was open and so perhaps that is why so few people were out. Anyways, we had the alley ways to ourselves and it created an almost eerie feeling as we wandered.
By then a pagan temple stood on the holy ground, but Helen believed it had been erected by Romans to discourage the early saints from worshipping there. Almost immediately a new church was built to commemorate this most holy of Christian sites. "For the past 16 centuries Christian pilgrims have arrived at this spot from every corner of the globe; their tears, laments and prayers have done much to sanctify it."
Control of the building is shared by 3 different factions within Christianity which has sometimes made for contentious management of the building. For generations a Muslim family has held ownership of the keys and is responsible for opening and closing the church each day. We just so happened to be at the church at closing time and saw the process of locking up for the night.
Hours: 4:30am-8:00pm, closes 1 hour earlier in winter.
Dress: Modest dress is required