You can see the colorful cupola above the Catholicon. It dates from after the 1927 earthquake. It is decorated with an image of Christ and other icons.
The galleries and dome are part of the Catholicon.
You can watch my 2 min 51 sec HD Video Jerusalem Church of the Holy Sepulchre Catholicon and Omphalos out of my Youtube channel.
The Catholicon is located just opposite the entrance to the Sepulchre. It occupies the main nave of the Church. It is the large nave of the church, which has been enclosed by a wall on all sides. This Greek Orthodox cathedral features a large iconostasis. On the left there is the throne of the Orthodox Patriarchate.
The rock can be seen under glass on either side of the main altar, and beneath the altar there is a hole that allows you to touch the rock itself. The slot cut for the cross is shown in the east apse along with those of the two thieves.
Crack in Calvary, said to be the one caused by the earthquake that occurred at the Crucifixion.
You will find the Chapel of Adam, located directly beneath Calvary and entered via a door near the Stone of Unction.
You can watch my 1 min 59 sec HD Video Jerusalem Church of the Holy Sepulchre Golhotha Calvary out of my Youtube channel.
A stairway on the right the Greek Chapel of the Derision just inside the entrance leads to Calvary (or Golgotha), the place where it is believed Jesus was crucified.
The first chapel is the Catholic (Franciscan) Chapel of the Nailing of the Cross, which is Station 11 on the Via Dolorosa. It features a 12th-century mosaic of Jesus being nailed to the cross on the vault and a Medici altar from Florence. Just to the left of the altar is a statue of Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows, which is Station 13 (Jesus' body removed from the cross and given to Mary).
On the far left is the Greek Orthodox Calvary, which contains the actual Rock of Calvary (Station 12) around which this church was built.
The Crucifixion can be touched under the central altar.
From the Chapel of St. Helen 13 more steps descend into the Chapel of the Finding of the Cross. The left side is owned by the Catholics, whose altar features a life-sized statue of St. Helen (Constantine's mother) holding a cross. According to an early legend, Helen discovered the True Cross on which Christ was crucified while the church was being excavated and built around 330 AD.
The Greeks have the right side of the chapel.
29 steps downstairs lead to the Chapel of St. Helen.
It is owned by the Armenians and known to them as the Chapel of St. Gregory. On the stairway walls are many small crosses carved by medieval pilgrims. The chapel has three aisles and two apses: the north apse is dedicated to the penitent thief; the south apse to St. Helena, mother of Constantine. A seat in the southeast corner of the chapel is said to have been occupied by Helena as she searched for the True Cross, a story first mentioned around 351.
There is a wonderful floor mosaic in the Chapel of St. Helen.
You will find the Chapel of St. Vartan with a beautiful Pilgrim Ship in the left corner of the Chapel of St Helen.
You can watch my 2 min 19 sec HD Video Jerusalem Chapel of St. Helen and Mary Magdalene out of my Youtube channel.
The chapel of the Prison of Christ is located at the east end of the north aisle. According to XII-th century Catholic tradition it housed Jesus and the two thieves before the Crucifixion. The chapel probably originated as a liturgical station where the Passion and Death of Christ were commemorated.
The Greek Orthodox allege that the real place that Jesus was held was the similarly named Prison of Christ, within their Monastery of the Praetorium, located near the Church of Ecce Homo, at the first station on the Via Dolorosa.
You can see the Greek Chapel of St.Longius and the Armenian Chapel of Division of Robes to the right from the Prison of Christ.
The Greek Chapel of the Derision is located to the right. You will see the Triptych there.
The Roman Catholic area is located to the right (north) of the Sepulchre. It consists of a large square chapel (the Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene) and another private chapel for Franciscan monks. The former is held to be the site where Jesus appeared to Mary after his resurrection. In the Crusader era, this chapel was approached from the street to the west via an impressive entrance portal.
You can watch my 2 min 33 sec HD Video Jerusalem Church of the Holy Sepulchre Prison of Christ and Outer part of Catholocon out of my Youtube channel.
A low door on the opposite side of the Chapel of the Angels leads to the tiny Chapel of the Holy Sepulchre, which contains the tomb of Christ itself. This is the 14th Station of the Cross and the holiest site in Christendom. Here a marble slab covers the place where the body of Christ was laid and from which he rose from the dead.
Only four people are allowed in at a time. I was lucky to be there alone during several seconds.
The vase of candles marks the place where his head was. The banner behind it varies with the liturgical seasons: this one is after Easter and says "Christ is Risen –Hristos voskres (in Russian)."
Sorry for a bad picture from the Chapel...
The Chapel of the Angels is the first of two small rooms inside the Edicule. This altar contains a stone believed to be part of the large stone that was rolled away from Christ's tomb on Easter morning. The archway in the back leads to the Tomb of Christ itself.
You can watch my 3 min 16 sec HD Video Jerusalem Church of the Holy Sepulchre Chapel of the Angel and Holy Sepulcher Chapel out of my Youtube channel.
The Tomb of Christ itself is enshrined in a large, boxy shrine, referred to as the Edicule (or Kuvuklia for Eastern Christians). It is located underneath the large dome of the Rotonda.
The original IV-th century shrine constructed under Constantine is believed to be destroyed by the sultan Hakim in the XI-th century. In the XVI-th century another shrine was built by the Franciscan friar Bonifacio da Ragusa. But it was destructed in the severe fire of 1808.
The current structure was built in 1809-10 on money of the Russian Imperator Alexander I in shapes of the Kuvuklia which is located in New Jerusalem near Moscow.
You will see the Chapel of the Angel and the Holy Sepulcher Chapel inside the Edicule.
The round area of the church is known as the Rotunda or Anastasis. It preserves the location and shape, and a few original columns, of Constantine's IV-th-century Church of the Resurrection built on the site of Christ's tomb.
The Rotunda is surmounted by a large dome, completed in the 1960s. It is decorated with a 12-pointed star whose rays symbolize the outreach of the 12 apostles. The diameter of the dome is about 20 meters; the height is 34 meters.
You will see there the Edicule with the Tomb Christ, the Coptic Chapel where a piece of the tomb of Christ is located and the Syrian Chapel.
You can watch my 5 min 18 sec HD Video Jerusalem Church of the Holy Sepulchre Rotunda and Edicule out of my Youtube channel.