Category Archives: Old city

The nine Gates of the old city of Jerusalem

.

Beautiful gate of the 'Ieshiva Bet El' in the Jewish quarter

Beautiful gate of the ‘Ieshiva Bet El’ in the Jewish quarter

 

Nine gates are in the wall of the Old city of Jerusalem built in the 16th century by Suleiman the Magnificent, they protect the cradle of the three monotheistic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam :

-The Golden Gate – the Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent while renovating the walls of the old city definitely closed that gate in order to refrain the Jewish Messiah to pass.
– The Dung gate – Poor people used to live in the lower part of the old city  where  they  probably threw garbage. Next to it and later on in the 1980’s excavation an old medieval gate was opened to allow an easier passage
– The Tanners gate reopened recently.
– The Sion Gate or David Gate where is the Tomb of King David
– The Jaffa Gate in the direction of the Biblical city of Joppée, called Jaffa today.
– The New gate built at the end of the nineteen century to allow a quick passage to the    Christian quarter .
– The Damascus Gate the most beautiful gate in the north in direction of Naplouse and Damas.
– The Flowers Gate also called the Herod’s Gate opened in 1875 after the construction started outside the walls.
– The Lions Gate according to a legend the sultan Soliman the Magnificent had a terrible nightmare,  lions threatening to devour him as he did not seriously provide the protection of his population living inside the old city. He immediately hastened the construction of the city walls.

The rite of the Sacred Fire

feu sacre 3

It is an ancient ritual that symbolizes eternity, peace and resurrection of Christ.

The Holy Sepulchre is the latest episodes of the Passion of Christ, His crucifixion, burial and resurrection.

Many Christian from the Orthodox faith come to the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem during Easter to follow this traditional ceremony of the “Sacred fire”,

From the first hours of the day a crowd of believers eagerly await this miracle. The atmosphere is tense. The Greek Orthodox patriarch enters the Chapel of the empty tomb, and, according to tradition, while he is praying for long hours, appears a ray of light, which does not burn but sparkles and illuminates. The patriarch lit his candles and a bouquet assembled thirty three candles thirty-three as the age of Christ. and, passed, the sacred fire very rapidly among the faithful. Cheers explode some cry others sing,

Outside, the Kyrie eleison “CHRIST IS RESURRECTED. ” Are becoming increasingly pressing, hands tend waving candles to candles.

                                         The secret about the origin of ‘sacred fire’ is carefully preserved                                                                     by the Orthodox hierarchy.

In front of the basilica, the Israeli police maintains order, it is often impossible to get so many people in this sacred enclosure.

This day is made of songs, music, prayers and ceremonies for each church according to their tradition.

Six chretien communities manage the Holy Sepulchre, Greek Orthodox, Latin Rite Catholics, Armenian Apostolic, Egyptian Copts, the Syrian Orthodox and Orthodox Ethiopians. Each of Church controls a carefully defined part of the building.

                                       In the past, the ceremony of the “Sacred Fire” has been repeatedly                                                           marred by fights between people of different                                                                         communities and dramas inside the Holy Sepulchre.

feu sacre 2