The Second Station - where Jesus was given the Cross. It is located next to the Franciscan Monastery of the Flagellation, across the road from the First Station. The Chapel of the Flagellation, on the right, is where Jesus was beaten by Roman soldiers.
The place was only a mound of ruins, when in 1838, it was granted to the Franciscans by Ibrahim Pasha, conqueror of the Turks. Hastily rebuilt in the following year thanks to the generosity of Maximilian of Bavaria, the chapel was entirely restored in 1927-29 by A. Barluzzi, inspired here by the 12th century architecture.
From here, the Via Dolorosa turns south on Tariq Bab al-Ghawanima and passes the northwestern gate of the Temple Mount, Bab al-Ghawanima. Up ahead on the north side of the Via Dolorosa is the Convent of the Sisters of Zion, which contains large pieces of the Lithostratos (Pavement of Justice).
Just west of the entrance to the Lithostratos is the Ecce Homo Arch, where Pilate identified Jesus to the crowd saying "Ecco homo" ("Behold the man"). The arch is part of a gate dating from Emperor Hadrian's time and was given its present name in the 16th century.
Jesus then came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, "Behold, the Man!" .
The Ninth Station - where Jesus fall for the third time.
The spot of Jesus' third fall as he neared Calvary was originally located in the courtyard of the Holy Sepulchre and it was marked by a stone with a cross engraved on it. The interruption of the Way of the Cross in the 16th century seems to have erased the memory of the original site. Later on, the current site was designated as the Ninth Station, in the immediate vicinity of the Church of Saint Anthony.
The Way of the Cross or the route of the Via Dolorosa begins near the Lions' Gate in the Muslim Quarter and ends at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Christian Quarter.
It covers about 500 meters and incorporats 14 Stations of the Cross.
Each of the 14 Stations of the Cross along the Via Dolorosa is marked with a plaque, but these small signs can be difficult to spot.
You can watch my 5 min 16 sec HD Video Jerusalem Via Dolorosa out of my Youtube channel.
The First Station - where Jesus was sentenced to death by Pontius Pilate. This event is believed to be held at the site of Madrasa al-Omariya, which is located about 300m west of the Lion's Gate. It is only one part of what tradition considered to be the Praetorium of Pilate. The other part took up the northern side of the street.
The Chapel of Judgment/Condemnation, on the left, marks the site where Jesus was sentenced to death.
Unfortunately the Madrasa can be entered only with the permission of the caretaker at specific times. That’s why we didn’t go there and saw the place from the distance.
“Very early in the morning, the chief priests, with the elders, the teachers of the law and the whole Sanhedrin, reached a decision. They bound Jesus, led him away and handed him over to Pilate.
"Are you the king of the Jews?" asked Pilate.
"Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied.
The chief priests accused him of many things.
So again Pilate asked him, "Aren't you going to answer? See how many things they are accusing you of." But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed.
Now it was the custom at the Feast to release a prisoner whom the people requested.
A man called Barabbas was in prison with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the uprising.
The crowd came up and asked Pilate to do for them what he usually did.
"Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?" asked Pilate, knowing it was out of envy that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him.
But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have Pilate release Barabbas instead.
"What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews?" Pilate asked them.
"Crucify him!" they shouted.
"Why? What crime has he committed?" asked Pilate.
But they shouted all the louder, "Crucify him!"
Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.”
The Fourth Station - where Jesus met His Mother.
The event of Jesus' meeting with his mother is not narrated in the Gospels but comes out of the pious tradition. Mary watched her son go by with the cross, and is commemorated at the Armenian Church of Our Lady of the Spasm.
Inside the Church you will see the remarkable 5th-century floor mosaic, which includes an outline of a pair of sandals, said to be Mary's footprints.
The Fifth Station - where Simon the Cyrenian helped carry the Cross.
Simon of Cyrene was forced by Roman soldiers to help Jesus carry this cross. All the Synoptic Gospels mention this event. There is a small Franciscan chapel at the corner where Tyropeon Valley turns toward the Market Road (on the right, in the east-west direction).
This chapel marks the devotion of the Cyrenian helping Jesus to carry the Cross.
The Sixth Station - where Veronica wiped the face of Jesus.
According to a tradition dating from the 14th century, Veronica wiped Christ's face with a silk veil on which His features remained imprinted. The holy relic of this meeting, Veronica's veil, has been kept since the eight century in Saint Peter's Basilica (Rome).
Station 6 is commemorated by the Church of the Holy Face, served by the “Little Sisters,” a Greek Catholic rite.
The Seventh Station - where Jesus fall for the second time.
The Franciscans took possession of this chapel at the Via Dolorosa's junction with Souq Khan al-Zeit in 1875 and they built over it two superimposed chapels. Within the chapel are the remains of a large column of red stone coming from the remains of the Tetrapylon of Aelia Capitolina.
The Eighth Station - where Jesus met the Women of Jerusalem.
A carved Cross marks the spot of the Eight Station across the market street and up the steps of Aqabat al-Khanqah, opposite the Souvenir Bazaar. A stone embedded in the wall of the Greek, Monastery of Saint Haralambos has a Latin Cross and the Greek words "Jesus-Christ conquers."
The site of the Eighth Station has been recorded at this spot since the middle of the 19th century when the Franciscans moved the commemoration site to beyond the "Judgement Gate."
The Third Station - where Jesus fall for the first time.
On the site of a part of the former Turkish baths, on the left of the street coming from Damascus Gate, a chapel was built in the second half of the 19th century. This chapel was renovated in 1947-48 thanks to the generosity of Polish soldiers.
The place belongs to the Armenian Catholic Patriarchate.
St. Anne's Church is located in the Muslim Quarter near the Lion's Gate. You may enter through a wooden doorway leading to a hidden garden enclave.
The church is right next to the Bethesda Pool, believed to be the site where Jesus healed a paralytic. Here you can see ruins of a Roman temple to the god of medicine and remains of a Byzantine church built over the temple.
As the church is just a few hundred feet east of the Sanctuaries of the Flagellation and the Condemnation, at the beginning of the Via Dolorosa, you might want to visit it before following the stations of the cross.
In 1856, in gratitude for French support during the Crimean War, the Ottoman Sultan Abdul Majid presented it to Napoleon III, and the interior was cleared of later additions.
In the south aisle is a flight of steps leading down to the crypt, in a grotto believed by the Crusaders to be Mary's birthplace.
The Church of the Flagellation is a Roman Catholic church located in the eastern or old section of Jerusalem, near the Saint Stephen's Gate. Also included in this complex are the Franciscan Monastery of the Flagellation, and the Church of the Condemnation and Imposition of the Cross.
According to tradition the church enshrines the spot where Jesus Christ was flogged by Roman soldiers before his journey down the Via Dolorosa to Calvary.
The original structure was built in 1839 over the remains of a medieval crusader shrine. During the Ottoman period this early shrine and its surrounding buildings were reportedly used as stables, and later as private houses. The whole complex was eventually given to the Franciscans by Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt in the 19th century.
The current church was completed between 1927 and 1929 and was a complete reconstruction of the original shrine. The interior of the church consists of a single aisle. Some noteworthy points of interest include the church's three stained glass windows, each depicting a different aspect of the church's Biblical history, and the church's mosaic-clad golden dome.
Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for a feast of the Jews.
Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades.
Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.
One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.
When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, "Do you want to get well?"
"Sir," the invalid replied, "I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me."
Then Jesus said to him, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk."
At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. The day on which this took place was a Sabbath,
and so the Jews said to the man who had been healed, "It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat."
But he replied, "The man who made me well said to me, 'Pick up your mat and walk.' "
So they asked him, "Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?"
The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.
Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, "See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you."
The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.
The route of the Via Dolorosa begins near the Lions' Gate in the Muslim Quarter and ends at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Christian Quarter, covering 500 meters and incorporating 14 Stations of the Cross. Unfortunately, the Via Dolorosa can prove a difficult place for prayer and contemplation, as it travels through busy streets lined with snack bars and tourist shops.
It took me three trips to Jerusalem to finally do the Stations of the Cross. Maybe it was the throngs of tourists that have always been so off-putting; maybe it was the phony, solicitous encouragement by local Arabs that I do the Stations (they hang around waiting to “guide” you)…maybe it was just that I didn’t feel like hunting down the stations and dealing with all the confusion. Whatever the reason, I never had it in me to follow the Via Dolorosa until our trip in December ’04 - when the City was virtually void of tourism. Don’t get me wrong - it was its same wonderful self (Jerusalem presents a living dichotomy of how the more things change, the more they stay the same), and yet it was different…more personal I suppose in the absence of so many tourists, God bless them.
There's no need for a guide, but for a few shekels it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to take one of the locals up on their offer since the Stations tend to meander and are often well hidden. David had our trusty Lonely Planet book so we used that.
The Stations of the Cross are regarded, and marked, as important "punctuations" during Jesus' crucifixion process (i.e. where He fell for the first time, second time, third time; where He saw Mother Mary's face in the crowd, where Veronica wiped His face, etc - eventually ending up at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre which where the last five stations are). When you walk through the Via Dolorosa, you really do get a sense of how sorrowful this condemnatory path was. Some stations are easier to feel this than others.
Most people will only ever get to do the Stations of the Cross in their local church back home; for the believer, walking the Via Dolorosa through Jerusalem's ancient streets is an incredibly unique and powerful experience.
I’ll certainly remember this experience for the rest of my life.
Ecce Homo Church is a Roman Catholic Church on Via Dolorosa. It is part of the Convent of the Sisters of Zion.
The church contains one arch of a Roman gateway, which has a further arch crossing the Via Dolorosa outside. Ratisbonne, a French Jew and former atheist who converted to Catholicism and became a Jesuit, decided to purchase the site. Between 1858 and 1862, he built a basilica (the Church of Ecce Homo), an orphanage for girls, and standard convent buildings.