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Church of Saint Peter in Gallicantu


The French Assumptionist Church of Saint Peter in Gallicantu was built on the steep slope of Mount Zion in 1931 where according to Christian tradition this was the place of the palace of High Priest Caiaphas. After his arrest Jesus was brought to jail in the caverns under the church. Its name (Gallicantu, means the cock’s crow) is given after the story of Peter’s triple denial of Christ and the cock crowing twice. A Byzantine church was built on this site in 457AD and was destroyed in 1010. The church was rebuilt by the Crusaders in 1102 (who gave it to the present name). The Crusader church was in ruins again in 1320 until the 20th Century.

The Church of St Peter in Gallicantu is built on four different levels — upper church, middle church, guardroom and dungeon.

An alternative site for the high priest’s house at the Armenian Orthodox Church of the House of Caiaphas on the summit of Mount Zion, adjacent to the Dormition Abbey.

Exterior of the Church of Saint Peter in Gallicantu


Interior of the Church of Saint Peter in Gallicantu

Mark 14: 26-72:

“And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives. And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered. But after that I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee. But Peter said unto him, Although all shall be offended, yet will not I”. “And Jesus saith unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. But he spake the more vehemently, If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee in any wise. Likewise also said they all”.

Peter’s denial of Christ is recorded in all four Gospels. Three of the Gospels also record his bitter tears of remorse. (Luke 27:  34-61; Acts 5:  19-42; Matthew 26:69-75)

The Dungeon of the Church of Saint Peter in Gallicantu

See also: St. Peter in Gallicantu

  • Administered by: Augustinians of the Assumption
  • Tel.: 972-2-6731739
  • Open: 8.30am-5pm (closed Sunday)

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