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Inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem

Early sources reveal that Constantine’s church of the Holy Sepulchre was sumptuously decorated with fine marbled panels, columns and a coffered ceiling. A cross was set up on the rock of Golgotha to commemorate the exact site of the Crucifixion and was replaced over the following centuries with one decorated with gems, a golden cross and a simple wooden one in the seventh century. Christ’s tomb was in two parts: the first a porch that contained part of the stone that formed the door to the tomb and the second the tomb itself. It had a roof of silver and gold, outer walls made of marble and it was topped with a cross.

The modern church has been significantly modified and little of the Late Antique fabric has survived as much of it was rebuilt in the nineteenth and twentieth century following a fire and an earthquake that caused much damage.


Lucy O'Connor

Date of Visit

1st July to 8th August 2013
10th October to 6th November 2014


Lucy O'Connor


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The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem


Lucy O'Connor, “Inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem,” Architecture and Asceticism, accessed March 24, 2018,

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