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Jesus’ Tomb Unveiled to the Public after Restoration

Created: 27/03/2017

The public has received its first look of Jesus’ tomb for the first time since its restoration.

Jesus tomb

The holy site, which is known as the Edicule, is the spot where Christians’ believe Jesus was laid to rest and then resurrected.

The Edicule is located within the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The church has its origins as a temple built in the 2nd century AD by the Roman Emperor Hadrian who constructed a temple to bury the cave in which Jesus had been buried. Later on, around 325 AD, Rome’s first Christian Emperor, Constantine, had a Church built to replace the temple.

This is where Jesus’ tomb was rediscovered and is also the traditional site of Golgotha – where Jesus was crucified.

The restoration is the first attempted in more than 200 years -- which is when a fire took place. The refurbishment project was led by the National Technical University of Athens.

Funds towards the work were contributed by the custodians of the site: the trio of Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Armenian churches, who all provided £2.3 million to restoring this most holy of locations.

The tomb itself is a fascinating area, containing the very limestone shelf that Jesus is believed to have been laid to rest upon.

One of the partners of the project, Archaeologist Fredrik Hiebert of National Geographic, has said the following about this truly incredible site.

“The shrine has been destroyed many times by fire, earthquakes, and invasions over the centuries. We didn’t really know if they had built it in exactly the same place every time.

But this seems to be visible proof that the spot the pilgrims worship today really is the same tomb the Roman Emperor Constantine found in the 4th century and the Crusaders revered. It’s amazing”.

Jesus Crucified

It’s not all good news however, as during the restoration it has been discovered that the foundations of the Edicule are quite unstable, being located over a plethora of caves and tunnels which are believed to be the remains of a 2000 year old limestone quarry that served as the tombs of the Jewish elite.

So there is some worry about the future of the site, but this is only making the NTUA more determined to preserve this sacred place of pilgrimage. They are now recommending a further ten month restoration project to replace the unstable foundations.

The church, and the Edicule itself, are truly remarkable locations, not just for their historical and religious importance, but on an architectural scale as well.

The passion to protect and conserve the area is admirable; we all have our treasured spots, and projects that means something to us, and whether you are restoring holy sites, or just looking for a local London handyman to help you with your own labour of love, it’s great to see the determination to preserve the things we cherish.

 

Image Credit: Marc Israel Sellem   Almonroth



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