The Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu has a surprise for tourists of all faiths: A Catholic shrine, a model of Byzantine Jerusalem and a panoramic view of modern Jerusalem. The Gallicantu Model of Byzantine Jerusalem completes the Model of First Temple Jerusalem at Mercaz Ariel and the Model of Second Temple Jerusalem (The Holyland Model) near the Shrine of the Book at Israel Museum.
St. Peter in Gallicantu
What does “gallicantu” mean? Gallicantu refers to the cock’s crow, and comes from the story of Peter’s triple denial of Jesus and the cock crowing twice (Mark 14: 26-72; Matthew 26:69-75; Luke 22: 57 and Luke 27: 34-61). According to Christian tradition this is the place of the palace of the high priest, Caiaphas, where Jesus was held after his arrest at Gethsemane on the night of Holy Thursday. The church is located on the eastern slopes of Mount Zion. The present church was built in 1931 by the Augustinians of the Assumption congregation on the ruins of earlier Byzantine and Crusader basilica which were destroyed. The church is believed to stand on the site of the high priest’s house, however archaeologists are divided. In the courtyard a statue depicts the denial, including the rooster, the woman who questioned Peter, and a Roman soldier.
These are the caves under the church, dated to the 2nd temple period and the sacred pit, where Jesus was believed to be held in custody, as well as Peter and John after his resurrection ( Acts 5: 19-42).
Model of Byzantine Jerusalem
This model shows all the churches in Jerusalem during the Byzantine Period: Cardo Maximus and Eastern Cardo, Via Dolorosa (Decomanus), Holy Sepulcher, Nea Church, Hagia Sion, St. Anne’s, St. Peter Gallicantu, St. John the Baptist Church.
Panoramic View from the Belvedere Balcony
The Belveder balcony provides a spectacular panoramic view of the Temple Mount, the Mount of Olives and the Kidron valley.
See also: Church of Saint Peter in Gallicantu
Open: 8.30am-5pm (closed Sunday)