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Terra Sancta Museum

A cross, Christ's arm and Saint Francis' arm, a universal symbol of the Franciscans

New Archaeology Wing

Jerusalem’s Terra Sancta Museum opened the doors of its brand new archaeology wing to the public on 27 June, hosting a new exhibition showcasing more than 300 artefacts from the time of Herod the Great to the sixth century. The new wing hosts an interactive display of the Christian history of Jerusalem and the Holy Land.

The museum’s new wing, adjacent to the multimedia wing,  debuts with The House of Herods: Life and Power in the Age of the New Testament and Monastic Movement, dedicated to the archaeological collections of the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum. SBF is  a Jerusalem based Franciscan academic society and is the Department of Biblical Sciences and Archaeology of the Pontificia Universitas Antonianum in Rome. The new archaeology area is situated amongst the restored ancient ruins of Medieval Jerusalem, ranging from Crusader-era workshops and cisterns to historic Mamluk dwellings.

Among the objects on display:-

  • Corinthian-era capital from Herodium
  • Peristyle columns from Roman-era courtyards
  • A collection of 800 bronze coins from the Second Revolt – the Jewish rebellion against Roman rule – that date back to the second century AD
  • Sixth-century artefacts from the Byzantine era
nscription dedicated by X Legion to Hadrian, 130 CE. Sandstone, 109 * 275 cm. Found in Jerusalem in two parts, one held by the Israel Antiquities Authority at the Rockefeller Museum, the other by the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum. Brought together for display at the Israel Museum, January 2016 Photo:Oren Rozen
Inscription dedicated by X Legion to Hadrian, 130 CE. Sandstone, 109 * 275 cm. Found in Jerusalem in two parts, one held by the Israel Antiquities Authority at the Rockefeller Museum, the other by the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum. Brought together for display at the Israel Museum, January 2016 Photo:Oren Rozen

The Museum’s Concept

The museum tells the story of the Christian presence in the Holy Land. The Museum is ranked 5 out of 5 by Tripadvisor. The Terra Sancta Museum is being built in two Franciscan buildings of the Custody of the Holy Land, the Monastery of the Flagellation (1 Via Dolorosa), the second of the 14 Stations of the Cross , and the St. Saviour Monastery (1 Saint Francis Street -next to the New Gate). St. Saviour Monastaery has been the headquarter of the Franciscans of the Holy Land since the 16th century. This is the only museum in the world dedicated to the roots of Christianity and the preservation of the Holy Places.


Franciscan Chapel of Flagellation
Franciscan Chapel of Flagellation

The Terra Sancta Museum Wings

The museum is actually an expanded, modernized version of an archaeological exhibition housed at the complex since 1902. The museum will eventually cover a surface area of 2,573 square meters. It will be comprised of three main exhibitions

The Multimedia Wing – Via Dolorosa (the Way of the Cross)

The first section of a unique museum will open up in Jerusalem at the Monastery of the Flagellation. “Via Dolorosa” is a multimedia show about the way that is identified as Jesus’ Way of the Cross to the Calvary.

The multimedia show asserts that the Al Aqsa Mosque is built where the Jewish Temples (Jesus visited the Second Temple). This is a controversial statement in this part of the world, where many Muslims insist that the temples never existed and that Jews and Christians have no religious or historical claim to Jerusalem. The clip also admits that First Crusade acknowledges the suffering of other Holy Land populations.

The multimedia wing is the first section of the Terra Sancta Museum. The Via Dolorosa exhibition takes place in the Monastery of the Flagellation. Ancient tradition identifies this place with the Antonia Fortress and the Praetorian of Pilate. A fifteen-minute interactive tour and light show, take guests through the city’s past, beginning with the life of Jesus.  This installation explains why, where, and how the Via Dolorosa was born and how the area around it was transformed during the centuries. This innovative installation, offered in 8 languages, is divided into three stages: archaeological fragment, multimedia technology, and a spiritual moment at the end of the show.

The visitor is immersed in an environment of lights, sounds, ambient noise, stories and animations, and transported back to the time of Herod in which the dramatic events of the passion, death and resurrection of Christ took place.

The Via Dolorosa experience takes place in three stages, marked by three different multimedia approaches:

  • Highlights from the archaeological site and remains from the Herodian and Roman period
  • History of Jerusalem through its urban evolution
  • Worship of the Way of the Cross, evoking the voices of the ancient and illustrious pilgrims

The opening of the first section of the Terra Sancta Museum.

The Archaeological Wing

This wing is opened June 2018, in Monastery of the Flagellation.   The subject is the evangelical sites of the Holy Land.

The History Wing [next project]

This wing will be the next project. It will be housed in the St. Saviour Monastery. The subject will be the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land.

St._Saviour_Church_(Jerusalem) Photo: Antoine Taveneaux
Photo: Antoine Taveneaux

Terra Sancta Museum Brochure Download

Terra Sancta Museum Tour App

Terra Sancta Museum has produced a new app for museum tours offering visitors detailed explanations of its collection in English, Hebrew, Italian and Arabic.

Visitor Advice

Opening Hours: Every day

  • April – September: from 9 am to 6 pm
  • October – March: from 9 am to 5 pm


  • Adults 15nis
  • Groups (+5 people) 10nis
  • Children and teens (under 12) free

Museum Rules

  • Cash payments only
  • No cloackroom
  • Food and dangerous items not allowed
  • Smoking prohibited
  • Appropriate attire is required (in order to respect the Holy Place)
  • Authorization for video shooting has to be requested in advance
  • Reservations:      |      +972 (0)2 627 1165

How to get to the Museum

  • To reach the museum from the Central bus station: take the light rail direction Heil Ha-Avir to the Damascus Gate station. Enter the Damascus Gate and take the El Wad ha-Gai street, turn left at the Via dolorosa street. The museum is 200m up the Via Dolorosa street, on the left.
  • From the Lions Gate: take the Derech Sha’ar HaAyarot street, the museum is 300m further on the right.

Impaired mobility

  • Barrier-free access to the Flagellation monastery from the Via Dolorosa street
  • Barrier-free access to the Via Dolorosa section


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