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Pictures Of The Church of The Holy Sepulchre

Now this might come as a shock to some here but, as a man of the world and a firm fan of Monty Python, I’m also into photography (nudge, nudge, wink, wink). While perusing the boards at a favorite photography web site (no.. not that kind of “photography”) I came across the following pictures of the interior of The Church of The Holy Sepulchre in the Old City of Jerusalem. And they’re rather good ones. I thought I’d share them here.

more magnificent artworks within St Helena Chapel artworks depicting a historical church sceneArtwork from inside the Church

And may I also say, if you’re in need of Industrial photography in Israel, you might want to give this guy a call: he’s clearly very good at this!

You can see the pictures on the photographer’s own web site here and this is what he wrote on the photography site about the pictures (I’ll included the technical photography stuff too!)

I enjoy history, particularly the history of religions. Thus it was in delighted anticipation that I accepted a brief to photograph a short sketch of a Holy-Land Church of my choosing for a proposed Christian tourism website.

I chose the Church of The Holy Sepulchre in the heart of Old City of Jerusalem. It is saturated with religious tradition and history and is among the most venerated shrines in Christendom.

Within the Church are the last five Stations of the Cross – The Via Dolorosa. Traditionally, it is here that Jesus bore the Cross to Calvary, and here where he was crucified, died, buried and resurrected…

Because of budget constraints, I was required to shoot fast to finish as much as possible of this massive church within in five hours. Coupled with this, the church was alive with a Cecil B. DeMille multitude of tourists and pilgrims. In view of the crowded, difficult conditions, I decided that i would have to shoot fast using a very light tripod and to avoid changes by using one lens throughout – the Sigma 12-24. Settings were at 800 ISO more or less throughout. AWB – Standard everything – Let the S5 do the thinking for me. Saved a lot of time this way. The rest of my equipment, flashes, lenses, stayed in my backpack unused. Some slight Photoshop tweaking on most pics.

http://roniti.com/sepulchre/

Should you be further interested here is a brief history of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre:

When Hadrian reconstructed Jerusalem as Aelia Capitolina (135 CE), Christianity was considered a Jewish sect and its various sites treated accordingly. The hill of Golgotha (Calvary) and the Holy Sepulchre were obliterated and replaced by temples dedicated to Rome’s pagan gods. Inadvertently, the Temple of Venus which stood on Calvary helped Queen Helena, Emperor Constantine’s mother, to identify the site when she came to the Holy Land in 326 CE to find the places connected with the life of Christ. Constantine removed Hadrian’s temple and enshrined the hill of Golgotha and the Holy Sepulchre in an immense and magnificent basilica in 326 CE, which was destroyed by the Persians in 614. Abbot Modestos rebuilt the shrine, but it was razed by the mad Sultan Hakim in 1009 and has never since been rebuilt to its original great size. The Byzantine emperor Monomachus began reconstructions in 1098, among them reducing the height of the dome and moving the main entrance to its present location at the south side of the church. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was Jerusalem’s most revered Christian edifice and its liberation from the Muslims was the primary goal of the Crusading armies. Once they had gained control of the city, the Crusaders began renovations to the church intended to bring under a single roof all of the sites related to the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The Crusaders were defeated in 1187 by Saladin, who allowed Christians to use the shrine under condition that the key to the shrine – right of entry – remained in Muslim hands. Saladin’s proviso is still in force, despite the fact that, whenever it was expedient, the Muslims would arbitrarily apportion rights in the shrine to one or other of the Christian sects claiming privilege. As a result, Roman Catholics, Greeks, Armenians, Copts, Syrians and Abyssinians have had to jostle for favors and the establishment of rights within the church – a situation that has not been in the best interests of the shrine. Since reconstruction implies possession, it has been extremely difficult for the different sects to agree among themselves on any procedure for repair. Earthquake, fires and the ravages of time have taken their toll and the church has fallen into an abysmal state of disrepair, despite infrequent renovations since the 16th century. Between 1936 and 1934, the British were forced to install ugly reinforcements to save the church from collapsing. In 1958, the different communities sharing rights within the shrine were able to agree on a program of repair for the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.


Herbert Bishko

About the author

Picture of Brian of London

Brian of London

Brian of London is not the messiah, he's a very naughty boy. Since making aliyah in 2009, Brian has blogged at Israellycool. Brian is an indigenous rights activist fighting for indigenous people who’ve returned to their ancestral homelands and built great things.
Picture of Brian of London

Brian of London

Brian of London is not the messiah, he's a very naughty boy. Since making aliyah in 2009, Brian has blogged at Israellycool. Brian is an indigenous rights activist fighting for indigenous people who’ve returned to their ancestral homelands and built great things.
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