Sunday, May 31, 2009

Wall Carvings in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

During our visit to Jerusalem's Old City with our houseguest last week we visited the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Originally built by the mother of Emperor Constantine in 330 A.D., the Church commemorates the hill of crucifixion and the tomb of Christ's burial.
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It is also a marvelous place to photograph, with something different around every corner as each of Christianity's major streams jockeys for position. The primary custodians are the Eastern Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic, and Roman Catholic Churches, with the Greek Orthodox Church having the lion's share. In the 19th century, the Coptic Orthodox, the Ethiopian Orthodox and the Syriac Orthodox acquired lesser responsibilities, which include shrines and other structures within and around the building. Times and places of worship for each community are strictly regulated in common areas and
altercations have been known to occur when one group is perceived as having overstepped its bounds (see the section entitled "Status Quo").
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I've got some wonderful images from inside the Church which I will be sharing in the days to come, but since those are better viewed as full-color images I've chosen this bit of "graffiti" to share with you as my
Monochrome Monday offering. These crosses were carved into a wall in a stairway between different sections of the building. There was no explanation, so I have no idea how long they've been there or who took the time to carve them, or for that matter whether there might have been a particular message they were meant to convey in that out of the way corner.
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I would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who helped make today's inaugural edition of Summer Stock Sunday such a terrific success. I had a great time visiting everyone and seeing what summer means to you, and look forward to seeing what you come up with next. The current linkie will be up all week, so if you want to join us come by and link your post anytime - the more the merrier.

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20 comments:

Aileni said...

Makes a good subject.

Anne said...

Very very great to read, and i did learn something too, nice.

My post this week is just a big humor post, so excuse me..., up to this post its nothing at all...

Have a very nice week. From Anne

Vita Stunder said...

Great to read and I did learn something new! :)

Have a nice week!
Anna

Ellie said...

It is different here in America - everything in the "New World" is asking you - what did you do today, not what happened yesterday. I am fascinated by the messages that are still visible from the past in the "Old World". Enchanting!

Neas Nuttiness said...

Shoot - I forgot that you are almost a day ahead of us...and here I was, thinking that I would get to join you on your first Summer Stock Sunday! Soooooo, I'll just use "today's" photo next week.

Really enjoyed this post!

Phyllis Sommer said...

v much enjoying the old city pics.... i do love that place:-)

kden said...

I love this shot, it makes a perfect mono. Thanks for the info on your meme, hope to join someday.

Clueless in Boston said...

It must be very interesting to visit in person. The old carvings are fascinating. They may just be someones way of marking that they were there, like a workman who writes his name or initials on an interior wall that is to be covered and may never be seen. I think they might have just done if for themselves or to mark the way for others of their sect.

Thom said...

Hi Robin. Dianne sent me over and I can see why. I'll be back. :) Aloha

Flea said...

What a beautiful photo! I can't wait to see more. :)

Anne-Berit said...

Great post and photos.

Jientje said...

Looking forward to see more pictures! Perfect choice for a Monochrome!

Wow, you did have quite a lot of players for your Summer Stock Sunday! Way to go!

Daryl said...

Excellent mono and fascinating subject .. and wasnt Summer Stock Sunday a blast? I knew it would be! xo

Julie said...

Love the shot, graffiti like that I could live with.

Liz said...

Like some of today's graffitti, they are very well done. I would love to visit Jerusalem.

Tell me, is that your kitchen in your header? It looks lovely!

Robin said...

It is in fact my kitchen, and thank you. We redid it about 3 years ago and really love how it turned out.

DaisyDeadhead said...

I'd love to go there--you are so lucky to live in a place with such diverse history. Great photo and very poignant.

storyteller said...

Marvelous choice for monochrome ;--)
Hugs and blessings,

Mojo said...

Just a guess, but given the church's location, I'd speculate that the three crosses are a representation of the Crucifixion. There were two other guys crucified alongside Jesus, thieves I think. And you'll occasionally see the scene represented with all three crosses.

The only thing that would steer me away form that explanation might be that the largest cross is on the left -- or right, depending on which way you look at it. The point being, it's not in the center which is supposed to be where Jesus was hung up. You'd think if that was the theme for this, the largest of the three would be the one in the middle. But that could be a trick of the light or the angle, or the carver might have just had a lousy eye for dimensions.

Truth is I really have no idea, which is why I called this "speculation".

Rajesh said...

Very interesting