A huge group of 75 of us visited here in 1999 as an extension to our trip around Turkey which was the 7 churches of Revelations tour leading up to a convergence in the ampitheatre at Ephesus with 10,000 other Christians from around the world - this was a significant part of our trip to Jerusalem
Interesting sites to read on the theories involved in why this is thought by many Christians to be the location of Jesus' tomb rather than the church of the Holy Sepulchre which the Roman Catholic and Orthodox church have afffixed to : -
and Wikipedia also has an interesting write up:
Located just north of the Damascus Gate, the Garden Tomb is yet another hypothetical burial place of Jesus Christ. However the Garden Tomb location makes the most sense as a logical burial place due to its location, its very visually pleasing. This is a major Christian tourist hub so be prepared to share the site with a endless stream of tour groups. The entire site is shrouded in trees and bushes and seems entirely cut off from the city, which is exactly what one would expect. Its a very peaceful place to visit even with all the tour groups, in fact most groups hold religious services where they will pray and sing hymns and even if you don't agree with their brand of Christianity the singing adds to the ambience of the place. There is no admission fee.
Some people believe that this is the site of the grave from which Jesus was resurrected from the dead. However, archeologists seem to agree that this is not the case, and that the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City is more likely to be in the right place.
The Garden Tomb though is in a beautiful location surrounded by lush gardens, and it very much does look like you would imagine the grave.
I found that the volunteers who run the site (mainly British) are very friendly and happy to answer your questions!
Opening times: Mon-Sat 9.00-12.00 and 14.00-17.30 hrs
This is beautiful garden is one the sites claimed to be Jesus's burrial place. It's very different from the more famous site of the church of the Holy Sepulchre. It's not a church, it's a garden with a burrial cave in it. Unlike the other site which is holy for the Catholics, Greek Orthodox, Armenian, Coptics and others, this is holy for the protestants. But, you don't need to be a protestant to enjoy it, or even a Christian... There is no addmitance fee to the garden and you can join a guided tour explaining about the place.
This was the very first place we went to upon arrival into Jerusalem. It just could not wait. Find the Garden Tomb just north of the Damascus Gate. the surrounding region is very busy, however the garden itself is a different world altogether.
There is somewhat of a debate concerning where exactly Jesus was crucified and buried. The "traditional" site is the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. However, many feel that this is the place. A priest once said, "If this is not the place, then it should have been." Unlike the big church, this spot has all of the elements of the tomb in the Bible. There is a skull rock formation nearby. The tomb is in a garden, it must have been the tomb of a wealthier man, it is EMPTY, and it is the type where a stone is rolled away to access the tomb. By the way, that stone must have been very large.
Before going, make sure you access the website concerning the hours. Due to low numbers of tourists in recent years, they have had to cut back on the access hours.
So you are wondering if I truly believe this to be the place of Jesus' crucifixion and burial? I did visit both here and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. They are nothing alike. This is certainly a quiet and tangeable place to contemplate the events of 2000 years ago. Deep down, this place makes much more sense, and I hope this is it.
This is the most sacred site for Christians. It is located inside the church of the Holy Sepulchre and it is owned by the Greek, Armenian, Coptic and Roman Catholic communities. The outer chapel serves as a Greek Orthodox altar.
On the Saturday of Greek Orthodox Easter the Greek Orthodox Patriach enters the tomb alone. The church lamps are all put out as a symbol of the darkness at the Crucifixion. The door of the Tomb stays closed and no one else can enter. The legend says that a fire comes from heaven and lights the candles the Patriarch holds. He comes out and shares the Holy Light, the symbol of Resurrection.
The Holy Light is carried by a special flight of Olympic Airways to Greece to go to the main cities and churches for the ceremony of Resurrection.
It is believed by many that this is the real location of the garden of Joseph of Arimathea, outside the city walls, and the tomb where Jesus Christ was laid after His crucifixion, others believe His tomb is in the Holy Sepulcher.
The picture is of the entrance to the tomb that a British general named Gordon found located near the Golgotha hill. Many Christians believe that this is actually where Christ was entombed.
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