Russia Religion Subjects Holy Land Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Empress Helena (c. 244–327) was the mother of the first Christian emperor, Constantine, and did much to spread Christianity. In 325, she made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land with the specific aim of finding the place where Christ had been crucified. The following year, Helena began building the great Church of the Resurrection – the Church of the Holy Sepulchre – on the traditional site of the Crucifixion. Constantly destroyed and rebuilt, the church was consecrated in its present form in 1149.

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is regarded as the geographical centre of the Christian religion and has various other churches, chapels and altars under its jurisdiction. The most sacred objects in the church are the Holy Sepulchre (the tomb in which Christ was buried) and the Stone of Unction.

The travel notes later published by the Chernetsov brothers describe the inside of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre: “The wide interior of the rotunda has a chapel in the centre, erected over the Holy Sepulchre. It stands like a marquee over the shrine that contains the most sacred object in the whole Christian world!”

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