Inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

A detailed plan of the Church’s chapels and features

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre commemorates the traditional location of Jesus’s death and resurrection. Undergoing several major phases of construction, what began as a place of execution and burial has been transformed into a magnificent, complex church over the centuries: first, in the fourth century A.D., as the Constantinian Church of the Resurrection; next, in the 11th century, following a reconstruction; and then, in the 12th century, as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre following the changes made during the reign of the Crusader kings. This final renovation has stood the test of the time and—for the most part—is what visitors to the church see today.

Church of Holy Sepulchre Features

This plan shows the major features within the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Plan: J. Kelley

The present-day church complex joins together numerous chapels, Stations of the Cross, and other features. On this plan, I have marked the church’s major features with numbers corresponding to the list below:

(1) parvis (courtyard)

(2) main entrance

(3) Greek Katholikon (primary Greek Orthodox chapel)

(4) north transept

(5) Byzantine gallery

(6) apse of the Katholikon

(7) ambulatory

(8) Chapel of Longinus

(9) Chapel of the Parting of the Raiment

(10) Chapel of the Crown of Thorns

(11) Chapel of Adam

(12) Chapel of the Angel

(13) Chapel of the Holy Sepulchre (14th Station of the Cross)

(14) Coptic Chapel of the Holy Sepulchre

(15) rotunda

(16) Chapel of the Apparition

(17) Syrian Chapel

(18) Latin sacristy

(19) Tomb of Joseph of Arimathea

(20) Chapel of Bonds

(21) Prison of Christ

(22) courtyard

(23) Latin refectory

(24) Crusader patriarchate (seat of the Roman Catholic patriarch)

(25) Armenian sacristy

(26) Coptic room

(27) Greek sacristy

(28) Greek refectory

(29) Chapel of St. Helena (Armenian Chapel of St. Krikor)

(30) Chapel of the Invention of the Cross

(31) Chapel of St. Vartan

(32) apse dedicated to St. Dismas

(33) apse dedicated to St. Helena

(34) Chapel of Forty Martyrs

(35) Chapel of St. John

(36) Chapel of St. James the Less

(37) Chapel of St. Thecla

(38) Chapel of St. Mary of Egypt

(39) Chapel of St. Michael

(40) Chapel of St. James

(41) Chapel of the Angels

(42) Crusader refectory

(43) ruins of the Crusader arcade

(44) Greek Calvary (12th–13th Stations of the Cross)

(45) Rock of Golgotha

(46) Latin Calvary (11th Station of the Cross)

(47) Chapel of the Franks (10th Station of the Cross)

(48) Crusader Campanile (bell tower)

Justin L. Kelley teaches at Life Pacific University in San Dimas, California. He is the author of  The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Text and Archaeology: A Survey and Analysis of Past Excavations and Recent Archaeological Research with a Collection of Principal Historical Sources (Oxford: Archaeopress, 2019).


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