One of the four quarters of the Old City of Jerusalem and home to the Church of Resurrection (better known as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre), the Christian Quarter is a sight of monumental importance to members of all Christian denominations.
Recognized as the grounds on which Jesus the Son was Crucified and buried, the Church of Resurrection in the Old City's Christian Quarter was first destroyed by Persian invaders in 614 AC and rebuilt, some 500 years later, by the Crusaders. The church is currently run by six Christian communities; namely the Roman Catholic, Armenian Apostolic and Easter Orthodox Churches.
Today as much as ever the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is a prominent pilgrimage destination for members of the Christian faith.
The Christian Quarter - The Place to Start Your Tour to the Holy Land
Aside from being home to the holiest Christian shrine on Israeli soil - the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem is also home to the Via Dolorosa (Latin for The Way of Suffering) which partially extends through this district.
The Via Dolorosa is a trail marked by the 14 Stations of the Cross, said to be the path Jesus walked from the time of his arrest, through his Crucifixion and till the time of his Resurrection. The final five stations of the Via Dolorosa are located inside the Church of Resurrection, within the confines of the Christian Quarter.
Whether following the Via Dolorosa through all its 14 stations or merely visiting the five posts inside the Church of Resurrection, walking in the path of Jesus Christ will be an unforgettable, at times meditative, addition to your Holy Land tour.
The Christian Quarter - A Key Destination for Any Christian Tour
Located in the north-western corner of the Old City of Jerusalem, the Christian Quarter is accessible through the New Gate in the north and through Jaffa Gate and Damascus Gate in the south.
If this is your first visit to the Christian Quarter, it is advisable to enter via Jaffa Gate where you will find a Christian Information Center providing up-to-date schedules for liturgies, mass and other religious ceremonies held by the various churches and monasteries in the Christian Quarter.
As you make your way around the Christian Quarter you are likely to encounter numerous street venders, selling similar items to those sold in the Jewish Quarter and Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. Here too you will find handmade souvenirs, Arabic pottery and hand-embroidered gowns. It is customary to bargain with the venders, so make sure you negotiate a good price before you purchase your keepsake. Bargaining will add a unique oriental flavor to your tour of the Holy Land.
The Jewish Quarter - A sightseeing Must for Christian Tour to Israel
One jewel not to be forgotten when exploring the Christian Quarter is the Russian Orthodox Church of St. John the Baptist.
Though lacking an impressive exterior and therefore easily overlooked, the Church of St. John the Baptist, tucked below street level in the Old City of Jerusalem, is surprisingly rich in interior design.
With its breathtaking mosaics detailing the life of St. John and its status as the oldest standing Christian monument in the Old City of Jerusalem, the Church of St. John the Baptist is a diamond in the rough well worth a visit by any and all tours of the Holy Land.