25/11/2005

Holy Sepulchre dome & belltower

 

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was built by Constantine I the Great during the fourth century, after he became a Christian, and turned Christianity into the official religion of his Roman empire. In the year 326, Constantine sent his mother, Helena, to seek the Crucifixion location in Jerusalem. Helena found the place and also found the remains of the Cross itself. In that same place, 7 years later, Constantine had the Church built in the year 333. At the time of the Persian occupation of Jerusalem in the year 614, most of the structure of the Church was ruined. It was rebuilt in a more limited composition, but during the 11th century was facing demolition again at the hands of the Calif Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah (meaning 'Ruler by God's Command'). This menace is what initiated the Crusades, the call of which was to return the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and Jerusalem into Christian hands. When the Christian Crusaders occupied Jerusalem in 1099, they built a new church, that still stands today.

It commemorates the hill of the Crucifixion and the Tomb of Christ's burial. The most important element of this complex is the rotunda which contains the sepulchre itself. The sepulchre stands in an elaborate structure within the rotunda, surrounded by columns supporting an ornamented, domed roof which was finally restored in the nineties, ending in 1997 endless centuries of delays.

 

 

 
 

 

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