Church of Holy Sepulchre Ornament

A sepulchre is a burial chamber. In ancient Hebrew practice, it was carved into the rock of a hillside. It is first mentioned as purchased by Abraham for Sarah from Ephron the Hittite (Gen. 23:20). This was the "cave of the field of Machpelah," where also Abraham and Rebekah and Jacob and Leah were buried (79:29-32). In Acts 7:16 it is said that Jacob was "laid in the sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Emmor the father of Sychem."

The term sepulchre is most often used for the sepulchral burial site of Jesus in Jerusalem, over which the Church of the Holy Sepulchre has been erected. The Church is the holiest Christian site in Jerusalem and Israel. The Church contains the Chapel of Golgotha and three Stations of the Cross, as well as the place of Jesus Christ's burial and resurrection. The church stands in the place where a temple dedicated to Aphrodite used to stand. This temple was built during the Roman Empire's time on the location where Christ was crucified and buried, so it will be forgotten. Ironically, the building of the temple actually preserved the exact burial site's location. This design has been painted from the inside of the glass by skilled artisan. This ancient technique is achieved by special curved brushes that are inserted from the top hole. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was built by Constantine I the Great during the fourth century, after he became Christian, and turned Christianity to the official religion of the Roman Empire. In the year 326, Constantine I sent his mother, Helena, to seek the Crucifixion location in Jerusalem. Helena found the place and also found the remains of the cross itself. In that same place, 7 years later, Constantine I founded the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the year 333.At the time of the Persian occupation of Jerusalem in the year of 614, most of the church’s structure was ruined. The church was built again in a more limited composition, but during the 11th century was facing demolition again by the hands of the Calif Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah. This danger initiated the crusades, whose call was to return the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and Jerusalem to Christian hands. When the crusaders occupied Jerusalem in 1099, they rebuilt the church. After Jerusalem's occupation by the hands of Salah A-Din in the year of 1187, The Church Holy Sepulchre was given for safe keeping to two Moslem families, the Nusseibeh and the Joudeh families, who own the place today, and currently hold the keys to the church. The place where Jesus Christ was crucified is named Golgotha (the place of the skull). This hill is situated inside the structure of the church. Actually, it looks like this hill is named so because of its form, the reminding of a person's skull. Other traditions tied to this place say that this is the burial site of the first man, and is also the place where the binding of Isaac by Abraham occurred. Nowadays, there is a chapel on this hill, where tradition points to the exact place where Christ's cross was placed. After Christ was taken down from the cross, Joseph of Arimathea buried him in a tomb that Joseph had donated. When the church was built on that spot 300 years later, the hill around the tomb was removed, so only a small structure remains, on a flat surface. A rotunda was built around the tomb's structure, with a large dome.

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