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Tomb of the Virgin Mary

The Church of the Sepulchre of Saint Mary (the mother of Jesus)  or the Tomb of the Virgin Mary, is a Christian tomb at the foot of Mount of Olives in the Kidron Valley. It is also called the Church of the Assumption.

In the second half of the 14th century Franciscan friars rebuilt the church. The Greek Orthodox clergy executed a Palm Sunday takeover of various Holy Land sites in 1757 and expelled the Franciscans. The Ottomans supported this “status quo”. Since then, the tomb has been in the possession of the Greek Orthodox Church, while the grotto of Gethsemane is still held by the Franciscans.

There are several chapels on the site:

  • On the east the Chapel of the Virgin Mary
  • On west there is the chapel of Saint Joseph, Mary’s husband.
  • On the east is the chapel of Mary’s parents, Joachim and Anne
  • The tomb of Queen Melisende of Jerusalem
  • Greeks and Armenians in east apse
  • On the west there is a Coptic altar. Syriacs,  Copts, and  Abyssinians have minor rights.
  • On the south of the tomb is a Muslim mihrab
Façade of Mary's Tomb - Church of the Sepulchre of Saint Mary
Façade of Mary’s Tomb – Church of the Sepulchre of Saint Mary
Tomb of the Virgin Mary Staircase of 47 steps - Flickr by WomEOS at http://flickr.com/photos/15370593@N06/3272131726
Tomb of the Virgin Mary Staircase of 47 steps
Church of the Sepulchre of Saint Mary - http://www.flickriver.com/photos/checco/tags/virgin/
Church of the Sepulchre of Saint Mary
Tomb of the Virgin Mary - Exterior of the sarcophagus
Tomb of the Virgin Mary – Exterior of the sarcophagus

 

Tomb of the Virgin Mary
Tomb of the Virgin Mary
Tomb of the Virgin Mary - "TΦ" Tau + Phi Symbol of the Greek Orthodox church
Tomb of the Virgin Mary – “TΦ” Tau + Phi Symbol of the Greek Orthodox church
Tomb of the Virgin Mary
Tomb of the Virgin Mary
Tomb of the Virgin Mary
Tomb of the Virgin Mary
Tomb of the Virgin Mary
Tomb of the Virgin Mary

 

The interior of the sarcophagus. Now encased with glass. - http://www.wikiwand.com/en/Tomb_of_the_Virgin_Mary
The interior of the sarcophagus. Now encased with glass.

Melisende

Queen of Jerusalem from 1131 to 1153, and regent for her son between 1153 and 1161. She was the daughter of King Baldwin II of Jerusalem.

The tomb of Queen Melisende of Jerusalem at Tomb of the Virgin Mary - Avi Nahmias
The tomb of Queen Melisende of Jerusalem at Tomb of the Virgin Mary

Mujīr al-Dīn al-‘Ulaymī

An Arab historian living in Jerusalem whose principal work chronicled the history of Jerusalem and Hebron in the Middle Ages. Strangely enough Wikipedia states that he was a “Palestinian” historian.

 

Outside view of the Tomb of Mary and the tomb of Mujir ad-Din - http://www.wikiwand.com/en/Tomb_of_the_Virgin_Mary
Outside view of the Tomb of Mary and the tomb of Mujir ad-Din

 

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