|Holy Places in Jerusalem near to Notre Dame
|Panoramic view from the Roof of Notre Dame Center|
Notre Dame is in
an incomparable location: Inthe heart of Jerusalem”.
of the Holy Places in Jerusalem are within, or very
close to, the Old City, which is completely enclosed by
a wall that is more or less rectangular in shape. In order
to have an idea of the proximity of these Holy
Places, one can walk around this wall and return to
Notre Dame within about one hour.
We would like
to present to you the Holy Places that are close
and easy to reach from the notre Dame center in
the order of distance from the Center:
5-10 MINUTES WALK FROM
NOTRE DAME CENTER (NDC):
1. The Basilica of the Holy
is scarcely 10 minutes
by foot from the Notre Dame Center. One only has
to cross the road, pass through New Gate and then continue through
the Christian Quarter towards the center of the Old City.
Surveying the Old City from the roof of Notre Dame,
one realizes that, as the crow flies, the Holy Sepulchre
is no more than about 200 metres away.
of the Holy Sepulchre can justly be considered the most
holy place in the whole world. This place witnessed the
anguish of the Cross, the agony and death of Jesus,
the anointing of his body and his burial. But even
more importantly, this is the ground that witnessed his glorious
Resurrection and subsequent appearance to the holy women. The four
last stations of the Cross are prayed within the Holy
Sepulchre, since these events all took place within its confines.
It is therefore the terminus of the Via Dolorosa.
monumental Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre has, for centuries, been
maintained by monks and friars of various Christian denominations: the
main custodians for the Catholics have been the Franciscans, and
for the Orthodox, the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
10-15 MINUTES WALK FROM THE NDC
1. The Via
Dolorosa crosses the Old City from East to West, parallel
to the northern wall of the Old City – the
one that faces Notre Dame – and traces the path
that Jesus took, carrying the cross, on his way to
Calvary. The start of the Via Dolorosa is about 18-20
minutes walk from Notre Dame. These days one can follow
the route that bears this name. The stations of the
cross are signposted (many have chapels), and recall each of
the salient moments in our Lord’s Passion. Perhaps the most
outstanding of these ‘stations’ are the first and the second,
situated in the Franciscan Monastery of the Flagellation and next-door
in the Church of the ‘Ecce Homo’ respectively. The Church
of ‘Ecce Homo’ is under the care of the Sisters
of Zion and recalls Pontius Pilate’s condemnation of Jesus, whilst
taking his seat on the ‘Lithostrotos’.
2. The Western Wall
and the Temple Explanade
reach them by entering into the Old City through the
20 MINUTE WALK FROM NDC:
1. Mount Zion
It is located south-east of the Old City.
reach it from NDC by crossing the road and entering
the Old City by the ‘New Gate’. Then one must
go through the Christian Quarter to Jaffa Gate, and from
there through the Armenian Quarter to exit the Old City
through Zion Gate.
Three important Places are located in
1- The cenacle:
Place in which Christ celebrated
the Last Supper, in which
Christ apeared several times to his apostles after the Resurrection,
the Holy Spirit came down in Pentecost and the place
of gathering of the first Christian community. Unfortunately this place
is not under Christian custody, but under Israely authority; thus
it is a place that can be visited, but in
which any religious ceremony is forbidden. For this reason the
Franciscans have very close to the Cenacle the so called
"Cenacolino", a small Church in which Mass can be celebrated
in memory of the Last Supper.
2- The basilica
of the Dormition of Our Lady.
Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu
|The Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu|
This Church is built on the place in which,
in the times of Jesus, it is believed to have been
the Palace of Caiaphas, the high priest. To this place
Christ was brought after his agony in the Garden of
Gethsemany by the soldiers who took him prisoner. It is
the place in which Peter denied whim (this gives the
Church its name), where Christ was judged by the Sanhedrin
and where he spent the night of Holy Thursday in
the pit, humiliated and mistreated by the servants of the
PLACES OF QUICK ACCESS BY CAR:
Mount of Olives: It is located Northeast and outside of
the walls of the Old City, crossing the Kydron-Valley.
different Places that can be visitted in this area, going
up from Gethsemany, are the following:
- The Church of the
with its Garden. Very close
is the "Treason grotto" or "grotto of the apostles" and
the Orthodox Church of the Tomb of Mary.
- Dominus Flevit
(Church which commemorates the moment when Jesus wept over Jerusalem
and predicted its destruction)
- Pater Noster (Church and grotto in which,
according to tradition, Christ taught his disciples the prayer of
the Our Father)
- The Ascension (this place was transformed into a
muslim mosque, but it is opened to visitors)
- Betfagé, place in
which Christ started his tirumphant entree into Jerusalem on Palm
- Panoramic view over Jerusalem: Between the Pater Noster and
Dominus Flevit, there is a parking-place from which you have
a beautiful view over the city of Jerusalem.
to the Holy Places that are most significant for Christians,
there are also those that are important for the Judaic
and Islamic religions, the main ones being the Wailing Wall,
the only surviving remnant of the ancient Jerusalem temple and
venerated by the Jews, and above this the Haram Esh-Sharif
(including the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aksa
Mosque), which is the third most important place in the
Islamic world. These two sites, together with the Holy Sepulchre,
make Jerusalem the “Holy City” so loved by the faithful
of all these three monotheistic religions. All of these sites
can be visited easily by foot from Notre Dame.
To finish this description of
Notre Dame and the Holy Places, it is important to
mention that the roof of the Notre Dame Center has
a unique panoramic view of Jerusalem. From here, it is
possible to survey the whole of the Old City, the
Mount of Olives, Mount Scopus, as well as the entire
eastern part of Jerusalem. On clear days the view extends
to the northern part of the Judean desert and the
mountains of Jordan rising above the Dead Sea.
Notre Dame is also very well situated
with respect to the main roads, making it an ideal
departure point for visiting the Holy Sites in the surrounding
area. Bethlehem is only 5 miles from Notre Dame (15 minutes by
bus), Jericho is 19 miles away (30 minutes by bus),
Ein Karem, the place of the visitation of Mary to
St. Elizabeth, is 8 miles from the Center (30 minutes, because
one has to cross the breadth of the new City),
Emmaus is 9 miles away and easily reached by car in
a few minutes. Finally, Bethany and Bethphage are only 3 miles
from Notre Dame and can be reached by car in
merely 10 minutes.