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
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.
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.