After dinner on Thursday evening, some of us went to the Church of Holy Sepulchre to watch the closing and locking of the door. On Friday this site was the end of our archaeological via delorosa walk. Here’s Liz outside the only entrance to the church.
After lunch we went to the site of the temple, destroyed in 70 AD. Herod the Great extended the platform area of the temple, making it one of the largest sacred sites in the ancient world. This human chain shows the size ONE massive Herodian stone!
Some experts say it’s an 85% possibility that the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is the actual site of Jesus’ death and resurrection. This first century tomb cut into limestone with Kristina in the foreground is key evidence for this claim.
These steps (mostly reconstructed) were part of Herod’s expansion of the temple site. Jesus and his disciples would have entered the temple complex on this staircase.
At the end of a long day of touring, we had time to shop. Here I am with Anna, Liz, and Hannah at a shop on King David Street.
The tower of Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer from the Lutheran Guest House where we stayed.
On Saturday we went to Bethlehem. This is the spot pilgrims have venerated for centuries as the birthplace of Jesus.
Here’s Carl on his way into the grotto of Jesus’ birthplace.
From Bethlehem we went out to the Judea desert to the Herodian, Herod the Great’s summer palace and fortress. This photo is the swimming pool, feed by aqueduct system from springs in the Judean hills.
After the hot climb up and down the Herodian, we all had frozen treats. Hannah chose the watermelon popsicle. She said it was good.
Watch for more highlights of the trip to Jerusalem:
• singing at St. Annes’s church
• video of the locking of the door of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre
• Eric’s description of their visit to the Garden Tomb