JERUSALEM - The Old City


Sunset at Mount Zion, Mount of Prophet David, inspirasi timbulnya gerakan zionisme


Dataran tinggi di sebelah barat Yerusalem kini disebut Bukit Sion. Namun aslinya nama itu milik benteng orang-orang Yebus. Sesudah benteng itu direbut oleh Raja Daud, ia menamakannya Kota Daud, sebagaimana tercatat dalam kitab kedua Samuel, Daud berhasil merebut benteng Sion dan mendudukinya. Ia menamakannya Kota Daud. Kota itu dibangunnya di sekeliling benteng itu, mulai dari sebelah timur bukit (2Samuel 5:9). Setelah Tabut Perjanjian dipindahkan ke bukit dimana kemudian didirikan Bait Suci (First Temple), bukit itulah mulai disebut Sion atau Bukit Sion. Di zaman Herodes muncul keyakinan bahwa Daud mendirikan bagian barat kota Yerusalem. Keyakinan itu dilestarikan dalam nama Menara Daud. Setelah Yerusalem dihancurkan oleh Roma, umat Kristen mulai tinggal di bukit bagian barat, sekitar gereja Senakel. Maka bukit dimana terletak Senakel itu disamakan dengan Bukit Sion yang dikenal dari Alkitab. Sejak itu nama tersebut dipakai sedara resmi. Namun Bukit Sion yang dikenal dari Perjanjian Lama sesungguhnya tidak sama dengan Bukit Sion menurut umat Kristen.



Tomb of David


The Tomb of David is a much-revered site on Mount Zion in Jerusalem that has been variously owned and jealously guarded by Christians, Muslims and Jews throughout its history. Today it is a Jewish holy site.


The David Tower near Jaffa Gate

Despite this site's long association with King David, it is highly unlikely that this is actually his burial place. The Bible records that David was buried on the eastern hill in the City of David (1 Kings 2:10), which is on the other side of Jerusalem.
In the Byzantine era, David and James (the Jewish and Christian founders of Jerusalem) were the focus of a liturgical celebration in the Church of Mount Zion. This eventually led to the popular belief that both were buried on Mount Zion. David's tomb was identified with this site while James' tomb was located on the site of the Armenian Cathedral.


The David Tower in the night


This room may have been a 1st-century synagogue or early Christian church (see Last Supper Room). The Tomb of David was first located near here in the 11th century. The Crusaders built a church on this site in the 12th century; the "Tomb of David" was then the lower part of the Crusader Church of St. Mary of Zion. The Franciscans built a monastery here in 1335 when they returned to assume the administration of the holy places.
In 1524, the Ottoman ruler Sulieman the Magnificent seized control of the Tomb of David, on the basis that "it is neither just nor appropriate that this most noble place remain in the hands of the infidels and that...their feet foul the places sanctified by the prophets who have a right to our complete veneration." This may have also been motivated in part by the legend of great treasures buried with David (Josephus, Antiquities 16:179-82).
Under Muslim rule, the whole complex of vaulted passages and buildings was called al-Nabi Da'ud (the Prophet David), and this particular room was blocked off and modified for use as a mosque.
In the 1948 war, the Jews took the site from the Muslims and it remains in Jewish hands today.

The tomb of David


Entrance at the southwest corner leads to a hall that was the lower part of the 12th-century Crusader church, then into a low, rectangular antechamber with piers and vaulting. Framing two square doorways on the east wall are fine tiles. The older tiles have floral designs in blue, green and red and are patched with newer green and black geometric tiles similar to those used in 16th-century repairs to the Dome of the Rock.
The two doorways lead into a second antechamber, which has a mihrab (c.1452) decorated with the same mixture of tiles and three small windows in the east wall. A screen wall, pierced by three square-framed doors and windows, separates the second antechamber from the cenotaph of David. The openings are blocked with iron bars and the cenotaph room itself cannot be entered.

Kuburan David di Bukit Zion

The cenotaph of David (the tomb itself) is very large and draped in a red cloth embroidered with Hebrew text. It probably dates from the 16th century. Behind the cenotaph is a niche dated to the 4th century that may be part of a synagogue or the Byzantine church, but its northern orientation makes neither identification certain.
Burn marks are visible on the wall, which are due to fires during the sack of the church by the Persians in 614 or by the Muslims in 965. The wall has also been blackened by centuries of smoke from the candles of pilgrims.

Names: Tomb of David
Type of site: Jewish site
Location: Mount Zion, Jerusalem
Hours: Sat.-Thurs. 8-5, Fri. 8-1
Cost: Free
Bus: 1, 2, 38
Rules: Men should cover their heads



Tombs of the Prophets


The Tombs of the Prophets is a site on the Mount of Olives that a medieval Jewish tradition identifies as the tombs of the prophets Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, who lived in the 6th-5th centuries BC. Both Jews and Christians venerate the site as the tombs of these prophets of the last three books of the Old Testament.

Tomb of the Kidron Valley, Absalom's Pillar (tomb of Absalom, Cape of Pharaoh Tomb) near orange car


In the Book of Zechariah the Mount of Olives is identified as the place from which God will begin to redeem the dead at the end of days. For this reason, Jews have always sought to be buried on the mountain, and from Biblical times to the present day the mountain has been used as a cemetery for the Jews of Jerusalem. There are an estimated 150,000 graves on the Mount, including those of many famous figures such as Zechariah (who prophesied there) (though, this is most likely not the prophet's actual tomb), Yad Avshalom (likewise, almost certainly not Yad Avshalom's actual tomb), and a host of great rabbis from the 15th to the 20th centuries including Abraham Isaac Kook, the first Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel.


Tomb of Zechariah (Pyramid of Zacharias, right), and tomb of the Sons of Hezir (a family of priests, left)

However, this cannot be so, since the tombs are kokhim shafts, which came into use only in the 1st century BC. The "Tombs of the Prophets" are actually a catacomb that was part of the pre-135 AD Jewish cemetery. Inscriptions above the burial places show that the tombs were used for the burial of foreign Christians in the 4th and 5th centuries AD.
A little higher up from the tombs on the right is a terrace that provides an excellent view of Jerusalem, extending over the Temple Mount and the Old City to the high-rise blocks of West Jerusalem.



Names: Tombs of the Prophets; Tombs of the Prophets Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi
Type of site: Ancient tomb; Jewish and Christian sacred site; biblical site
Dates: Tombs hewn by Jews 1st century BC; used by Christians 4th/5th centuries AD
Location: Mount of Olives, SE Jerusalem, Israel
Hours: Mon-Fri 9-3:30
Cost: Free
Tip: Bring a flashlight



Tomb of the Virgin Mary


At the base of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem is a Crusader church said to mark the Tomb of the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus. Centered around a quarried-out tomb that may well date from the 1st century, the site is reminiscent of the tomb of Mary's son in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

The biblical accounts provide no information about the end of Mary's life or the place of her burial, and a number of places have claimed the honor (including Ephesus, Turkey).
Traditions about her burial in this area of Jerusalem may be as early as the 2nd or 3rd century. Such traditions became stronger in the 5th century, when the claims of Ephesus were strongly disputed.


The Church is located in an underground rock-cut cave, on the east bank of the Kidron brook, close to the Lions' gate. The southern front of the church, seen in the photo is from the Crusaders period (built at about 1130). In the background are the slopes of Mount of Olives.

Writers first mention a church on this site in the 6th century, but it was around 455 that an early tomb here was isolated by quarrying out the surrounding rock. The process was similar to that carried out around the tomb of Christ under Emperor Constantine (see Church of the Holy Sepulchre). A round church was built above the tomb by Mauritius Tiberius (582-602) but destroyed by the Persians in 614.

The steps take you way down into the lower church, through the Crusaders-era wide staircase . On the way down there are 2 chapels on both sides. Their names are based on a tradition from the 14th C: On the left (west) side is the chapel of Joseph, Mary's husband; on the right side is a chapel of Mary's parents - Hanna (Anna) and Joachim

The church was rebuilt, and the pilgrim Arculf visited it in 680. He recorded that the church had two levels, both of which were round. The upper level had four altars; the lower level had an altar at the east end and the tomb of Mary on the right. A 9th-century church record says that the site was served by 13 presbyters and clergy, 6 monks, and 15 nuns.
When the Crusaders arrived, all they found were ruins. They rebuilt the church in 1130 and included a Benedictine monastery to make it the "Abbey Church of St. Mary of Jehosaphat." The monastic complex included early Gothic columns, red-on-green frescoes, and three towers for protection. Queen Melisande was buried in the lower church in 1161.

 The eastern side of the church is longer, 18 meter long. This is where Mary's tomb - in the center of the hall. It ends with a round apse, with some Greek-orthodox altars

When the Crusader kingdom fell in 1187, Salah al-Din destroyed most of the upper church and used the stone to repair the city walls, but the lower church remained virtually intact. The site was taken over by Franciscans after the Crusaders left, and has since been shared by Greeks, Armenians, Syrians, Copts, Abyssinians and Muslims.
The Tomb of the Virgin is venerated by Muslims because, during his Night Journey from Mecca to Jerusalem, the Prophet Muhammad saw a light over Mary's tomb. In addition, Caliph Umar prayed at Gethsemane in 638.


Main altar as the entrance to the chapel of the tomb of Mary, located on the eastern hall. The chapel can be entered from two narrow openings on two sides - the west (seen above) and the north (hidden on the left side)

Steps from the road descend into a square courtyard containing the upper church, which is little more than a c.1130 portal and pointed arch supported on eight marble columns.
Inside, seven steps down a wide 12th-century staircase of 47 steps is the tomb of Queen Melisande, who died in 1161. The tomb was once protected by iron bars; an arch with a lily-bud motif remains. Opposite her tomb is the vault for the family of her son, King Baldwin II. The walls of the stairs are 12th century, and include 12th-century windows blocked up to keep out the Kidron floods.

One of the Altar in the lower church


Melisande's body was moved in the 14th century to a place at the foot of the stairs, and her tomb was subsequently identified with Mary's parents Joachim and Anne. The tombs of King Baldwin's family were later identified as the tomb of Joseph.
The lower church at the bottom of the stairs is a Byzantine (5th-century) crypt, partly hewn out of rock and featuring original Byzantine masonry. The area is dimly lit and the walls are blackened with centuries of smoke, giving the place an air of great antiquity. The room is opulantly decorated with icons and a forest of hanging lanterns.

There is a built apse to the west and a longer rock-cut apse to the east, in which Mary's tomb is marked by a small square chapel. It is quite similar to her son's tomb in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The altar inside the tomb conceals the remains of a bench tomb that may date from the 1st century.
A niche south of the tomb is a mihrab indicating the direction of Mecca, installed when Muslims had joint rights to the church. Altars of the Greeks and Armenians also share the east apse; an Ethiopian altar and cistern occupies the west apse.

This is the inner west side doorway to Mary's tomb

Menurut tradisi Kristen, St. Maria, bunda Yesus wafat dan dikuburkan di kota Yerusalem. Kedua tempat itu diabadikan dengan basilika Dormitio di Bukit Sion, tidak jauh dari Senakel (Ruangan Perjamuan Terakhir), dan dengan gereja Makam St. Maria di Lembah Kidron, tidak jauh dari Gethsemane. Makam Maria sejak semula dihormati oleh jemaah Kristen-Yahudi. Sejak abad V, makam itu diurus oleh orang-orang Kristen bukan Yahudi. Semasa pemerintahan kaisar Mauritius (582-602), di atas makam itu didirikan sebuah gereja lagi sehingga makam semula menjadi kapel bawah tersendiri.

Para pejuang Perang Salib yang telah merenovasi gereja, mempertahankan susunannya dan kedua bagiannya, yaitu atas dan bawah, tetapi menambahkan yang diserahkan kepada Ordo St. Benediktus (OSB). Biara itu mirip benteng, dan reruntuhannya ditemukan dekat gereja pada tahun 1937. Pada tahun 1187 biara dan gereja bagian atas dihancurkan oleh tentara Saladin, tetapi bagian bawah luput karena orang-orang Islam juga menghormati Bunda Maria. Tempat ini selalu menjadi pusat ibadah Kristen di kota suci Yerusalem. Sejak abad XIV hingga XVIII para biarawan OFM mengadakan renovasi besar-besaran di tempat suci ini. Pada waktu itu tempat ini memang dalam pengurusan mereka. Tetapi pada tahun 1757 mereka disingkirkan dari sini dan pengawasan atas makam Bunda Maria diserahkan kepada gereja Orthodox-Yunani dan Armenia.

Pada masa kini orang-orang Katolik boleh mengadakan misa di situ hanya 3 kali setahun termasuk tanggal 15 Agustus, hari raya Maria diangkat ke Surga. Di sebelah kiri kapel Makam ini ada altar St. Joachim dan Anne, orangtua dari Bunda Maria. Pada tahun 1161 di sini dikuburkan Ratu Melisenda, puteri Baldwin I. Di sebelah kanan ada altar St. Joseph dimana dikuburkan Maria, istri Baldwin III serta Konstantia, ibu Pangeran Anthiochia.


The tomb is an empty stone bench. On the side facing the western entrance are three holes that were cut into the stone and allow the visitors to touch the inside of the tomb

 Basilika Dormitio (Tertidurnya Bunda Maria) berdiri di Bukit Sion, tidak jauh dari Senakel. Menurut tradisi yang layak dipercaya, Bunda Maria tinggal di ruangan Senakel hingga hari 'tertidurnya' (bahasa Latin: dormitio). Tradisi ini dibenarkan oleh Patriarch Sofronius yang menggembalakan umat Yerusalem pada pertengahan pertama abad VII. Dalam sebuah madah yang mengidungkan keagungan "Sion yang Suci" disebutnya batu dimana Bunda Maria istirahat sebelum meninggal. Dalam sebuah basilika yang didirikan oleh para pejuang Perang Salib dekat Senakel, peristiwa tertidurnya Bunda Maria dikenang juga. Namun dengan lajunya waktu, basilika itu hancur. Pada tahun 1898, tempat-tempat suci di Israel dikunjungi oleh kaisar Jerman, Wilhelm II. Tempat yang diyakini sebagai tempat tertidurnya Bunda Maria pada kunjungan itu dihadiahkan kepada kaisar oleh Sultan Abdul Hamid. Yayasan pro Palestina di Koln mulai mengumpulkan dana untuk mendirikan basilika. Pemeliharaan basilika yang diresmikan pada tahun 1910 diserahkan kepada Ordo St. Benediktus (OSB). Basilika ini dibangun menurut rancangan H. Renard. Sebagai bangunan kukuh, basilika ini mirip sebuah benteng abad pertengahan. Di dalamnya terdapat banyak mosaik, antara lain tanda-tanda zodiak. Di bawah basilika terdapat kapel, dan di tengahnya dibuat arca Bunda Maria yang sedang tertidur.

Names: Tomb of the Virgin, Tomb of the Virgin Mary, Mary's Tomb, Church of St. Mary of Jehosaphat
Type of site: Biblical site; church; Crusader site
Location: Base of the Mount of Olives, Valley of Jehosaphat, Jerusalem, Israel
Hours: Mon-Sat 6-12, 2:30-5
Cost: Free
Bus: 37, Palestinian bus 36




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