Chapel of the Condemnation or Citadel, Jerusalem


On the Via Dolorosa is the Chapel of the Condemnation, built over the site traditionally identified with the trial of Jesus. But a more likely historical candidate for the site is the Citadel, which was the royal palace during the time of Christ and is where Pilate would have likely resided.


Church of the Condemnation


Traditional home of Annas, the high priest emeritus at the time of Jesus in the Holy Archangels Church and Convent within the grounds of the Armenian Convent (to the southeast of the Cathedral of St. James), located in the Armenian Quarter, in the southwest corner of the Old City


The local people call the medieval convent Der al-Zeytune ("Convent of the Olive Tree") because Jesus is said to have been tied to an ancient olive tree outside while awaiting his hearing before Annas, who was, it is said, busy with another trial.
Further information from an Armenian Patriarchate website: Special care is taken of the olive tree and the new shoots growing from its roots. The archbishop relates that on the evening of Good Friday, the faithful meet there for a special ceremony. The fruit of the tree is gathered while hymns are sung and rosaries are made from the olive pits.

The trial at the home of Caiaphas, the current high priest and son-in-law of Annas
The brief questioning by Annas is mentioned only in John; Matthew and Mark place their emphasis elsewhere, stating that immediately after his arrest Jesus was taken to the luxurious mansion of Joseph Caiaphas, the current high priest (his 15th year in office, having been appointed in 18 AD). Apparently some of the Sanhedrin members had joined Caiaphas in the early morning hours in order to interrogate Jesus regarding his claims of messiahship. Caiaphas presided over the body whose membership included both main Jewish parties, the Sadducees and Pharisees. The Pharisees interpreted the oral law and attempted to find an inner meaning in the older written law. They believed in the resurrection of the dead, the immortality of the soul and the existence of angels. Another group within the Sanhedrin was the Scribes, the mostly younger men, the doctors of the law. The most important group within the Sanhedrin were those members of the 24 priestly families; they were usually Sadducees, the wealthy, elite conservatives who bitterly opposed the Pharisees. They believed only in the written law, denying the oral tradition. The court also included those elderly men who had attained success as laymen and who were appointed as a sign of respect. Many of these "Ancients," as they were called, were also Sadducees. More than once Jesus had publicly rebuked both the Sadducees and Pharisees. On one occasion he warned his followers to "be on your guard against the yeast (that is, the teaching) of the Pharisees and Sadducees." (Matthew 16:6).

During Jesus' trial, Caiaphas was concerned only with political expediency, not with guilt or innocence. He believed that Jesus, no matter how innocent, should die rather than place the nation in jeopardy. Ironically, despite Jesus' execution, the Jewish nation still perished 37 years later, in 70 AD.


The property of the Armenian church there was excavated revealing remains of 1st century BC homes and Byzantine period streets and houses, Part of a 5th century AD church, possibly associated with the site of the home of Caiaphas


Undoubtedly this hearing was conducted in the Upper City, probably a short distance from the mansion of Annas. Influential Jews of Jesus' day lived in this area of large splendid houses, many built during Herod the Great's massive reconstruction of the city in the 1st century BC. Located on the higher western hill, the Upper City was connected directly to the Temple by a viaduct over the Tyropoeon Valley, and was a convenient home for families and officials with Temple duties. We know that Ananias son of Nedebaeus, a later high priest (from 47 to 58 AD) appointed by Herod of Chalcis, lived there, thus we may assume that Caiaphas did also.

Another tradition, going back to the Pilgrim of Bordeaux in 333 AD, places the house of Caiaphas higher up on the western hill, just south of the present Zion Gate, in the same area as the Church of the Dormition, the Dormition Abbey, "Upper Room" (Cenacle or Coenaculum) and "David's Tomb."



St. Peter in Gallicantu

In 808 AD a visitor to Jerusalem wrote of a church of St. Peter's Tears. Today the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu ("at the cock's crow") (right, as seen from the north) is almost hidden in the trees on the lower eastern slope of the area known today as Mount Zion, site of the wealthy Upper City in Jesus' day.

Gereja St. Peter Gallicantu (Yohanes 18:15-27) - Petrus menyangkali Yesus hingga 3 kali


It was constructed in 1931 over the remains of earlier churches which were themselves built over 1st century ruins claimed to be those of the house of the high priest, Joseph Caiaphas, where Peter denied Jesus three times.


The upper chapel of the Saint Peter Gallicantu


It is not certain when tradition first placed this event at this particular location. Ruins alongside the church foundations recall the courtyard where Peter sat by a fire warming himself against the cold night air alongside the servants and officials (John 18:18). But the first mention of this as the place where Peter "went outside and wept bitterly" (Luke 22:62) is only recorded centuries later. But, by the 11th-12th centuries AD this site was part of the pilgrim trail.










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