The Crusaders' Entrance to Calvary

In the north east corner of the parvis (courtyard) of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is the entrance to Calvary (Golgotha), erected in the 12th century by the Crusaders. The steps inside the church, used by today's visitors date back only to the beginning of the 19th century when a devastating fire broke out in the Armenian section of the Church, causing great damage necessitating extensive repairs, which included, among other things, the erection of an entrance to Calvary from inside the church. A window now replaces the actual entrance which led into the chapel from the head of the stairs. The arched doorway, which can be seen under the steps, is the entrance to the Chapel of Mary of Egypt. To the right of the structure can be seen the doorway leading to two Ethiopean chapels - first the Chapel of St. Michael and All Saints, and above it the Chapel of the Four Living Creatures. On the wall of the latter chapel is a mural depicting the arrival of the Queen of Sheba at Elot, when she came to visit King Solomon. The exit from these chapels is onto the roof of the church - once the open ground of Golgotha. Here are found the Ninth Station of the Cross, the remains of the Crusader cloister, the Egyptian (Coptic) Patriarchate and the Ethiopean Monastery - Deir es-Sultan.

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