Hot on Jesus' Trail - Part 4 of 4
We all know where this story ends...
We'll start on the Via Dolorosa (Way of the Sorrows), the route that Jesus is believed to have carried his cross to Calvary. The path is marked by the Stations of the Cross.
When you walk the streets of Jerusalem, you know that you are walking on ancient ground. However, it is not readily apparent that the ground you are walking on is much more recent than the ground than Christ himself walked on. The city of Jerusalem has been demolished many times and the new buildings were simply built upon the old building rubble.
The difference in elevation between the street level today and the street level in Roman times is best demonstrated by the excavated Cardo Maximus. In the photo below, I am standing on an excavated Roman road. The street level today is up the stairs behind me.
The first two Stations of the Cross, the condemnation and flogging, are adjacent to one another and marked by two churches.
The next seven stations that lie along the path, and the path itself, are not well marked. Some of the stations have a small shrine or chapel to the side of the roadway or down a flight of stairs or two while others are simply 'marked'.
The final five Stations of the Cross all lie within the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. These start with Christ being stripped of his clothes and end at his tomb.
This is the rock upon which the cross was mounted.
This is the Stone of Unction upon which the body of Jesus was cleansed.
This is the tomb of Jesus located within the church. It is possible to visit the interior of the empty tomb itself. A second possible tomb site lies outside the present day walls and is known as the garden tomb. I've attached a photo of the garden tomb at the bottom. But the story isn't over so keep scrolling.
There are two Chapels of the Ascension located at the Mount of Olives. This is a photo of the Russian chapel. The other is a Mosque of the Ascension (that is correct, it is a Mosque) approximately 50 metres away and Christians are welcome to visit.