Church of the Flagellation, Jerusalem
The actual Station two of the Via Dolorosa is the Nearby Church of the Comdemnation and the Station 1 is a few feet across the narrow street facing the Church of the Flagellation at the Al Omariya School. The Church is located near the entrance of the Franciscan Convent and was rebuilt on the ancient remains of a Crusader Shrine in 1839. The small church has 3 stained glass windows that depict the Washing of Hands by Pontius Pilate, Flagellation of Jesus and of Barrabas being chosen to go free instead of Jesus. It is under the Custody of the Franciscans (like the Nearby Church of Condemnation.
Opens: 7:00 am to 5:00 pm everyday
admission is free
Although I have a separate tip on the Via Dolorosa (Stations of the Cross - of which this site is one of them), it bears repeating: Attempting to do the Stations of the Cross in Jerusalem feels like you’re trying to navigate the most important scavenger hunt in your life. Not all the stations are clearly marked, and more than that – you’re attempting to follow a historical path that meanders through a labyrinth of alleyways and intersects life as it goes about its hectic business within the Old Walled City. Schoolchildren push by you as your nose is to the ground trying to figure out where Station no. 3 is; a wailing call to prayer screeches out of a loudspeaker from a nearby mosque (the Via Dolorosa cuts mostly through the Muslim Quarter, ending up at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Christian Quarter); vendors call out to you from their shops (they can spot a tourist pilgrim a mile away and are ready and waiting for you); you hear different languages from all sides as you find yourself passing (or being passed by) a visitor encountering the same…
I’ve always avoided doing the Stations because I didn’t want to be caught up in this kind of group “scavenger hunt” – but the last time I was in Jerusalem, David wasn’t going to leave without doing the Stations. And am I ever glad we did them! (I have more tips/info on the last Five Stations, specifically under "Church of the Holy Sepulchre)
ANYWAYS....the second time I visited the Old Walled City, I walked by this particular place not realizing its significance. It's easy to breeze right on by because only a small plaque acknowledges what happened here. Inside the courtyard (where Pilate issued the death sentence and then symbolically “washed his hands of it”), there’s a feeling of quiet serenity (main photo). This area is widely regarded as the first and second stations (the First Station is actually where the Roman Praetorium was located, across the street from this spot and currently serving as a Muslim Madrasa (school). They’re pretty good about allowing visitors inside the gates to begin the Via Dolorosa (Stations of the Cross). Back in the day, the Praetorium extended all the way to this courtyard area.)
Second photo: To the left of the courtyard is a small chapel (Church of the Flagellation and Condemnation) which is regarded as the place where the Roman soldiers scourged Jesus. Again, difficult to conjure up such horrific images today, amidst the peace and quiet that exudes.
Third photo: Inside the chapel a flogged Jesus is depicted above the altar, and above that, a golden dome showing a crown of thorns pierced by stars (you can barely make it out in my photo...sorry!)
Purported to be the site where Jesus was tried, whipped and given a cross to bear up to Calvary hill. Besides religous chapels, Roman era artifacts are displayed.