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Gethsemane – the area at the foot of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, where there were important evangelistic events and there are several shrines, monasteries and churches in this territory.

The history of Gethsemane

In the Gospel mentions that Jesus went with his disciples to Gethsemane, where he prayed before the arrest, was betrayed by Judas and arrested. Particular attention is given to the Garden of Gethsemane, which is revered as one of the places the Passion of Christ, where Jesus prayed on the night of his arrest. In 1681 the Garden of Gethsemane became the property of the Franciscans, and in 1848 it was surrounded by a stone wall.

Gethsemane today

On the territory of Gethsemane are several Christian churches: the Catholic Church of All Nations, the orthodox cave church with the tomb of the Virgin, Russian Orthodox Church of St. Mary Magdalene, next to which is the Grotto of Gethsemane (the cave), where the disciples fell asleep during his prayer till sweat blood.

Actually Gethsemane currently occupies a very small area (47 x 50 m). There are still 8 flowering olive trees that are older than 2000 years.

The Church of All Nations

Church of All Nations was erected on the place where, according to tradition, Judas betrayed Christ. The first Byzantine church on this place has appeared in the 5th century. In 1919-1924 by the architect Antonio Barlutstsi built a modern Church of All Nations, the name there in honor of 12 Catholic communities around the world who donated funds for its construction. Before the altar is a crown of thorns encircling the place where Jesus prayed in the Garden on the night of his arrest. In the temple is maintained the twilight in memory of evangelical events that took place at night.

Cave church with the tomb of the Blessed Virgin Mary

On the north side of the Garden of Gethsemane is the Orthodox church with the tomb of the Virgin. The tradition of honoring this place is known as the tomb of the Virgin with the I century. The first church in this place has been arranged by the Empress Helena in 326 AD and lasted until the XI century. The current version of the church was rebuilt in the XII century. On the territory of the church are the tombs of the parents of the Virgin, Joachim and Anna, and her husband Joseph. The main shrine is the tomb of the place where the Apostles buried the Virgin Mary after her Assumption. The tomb was opened by the decision of the Sixth Ecumenical Council, and in it were found belt and funerary shroud. The church belongs to the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, but has offices Russian, Syrian, Coptic and Armenian communities.

Church of St. Mary Magdalene

The Church of St. Mary Magdalene, built in the years 1885-1888 by Emperor Alexander III in memory of his mother Empress Maria Alexandrovna (architect Grimm). The church is a typical example of Russian architecture of the Moscow style, topped with seven onion-shaped domes. From the shrines in the Church are the miraculous icon of the Mother of God of Smolensk “Odigitria” and an icon of Saint Mary Magdalene with a particle of her relics. Here are the relics of Holy Martyrs Grand Duchess Elizabeth Fyodorovna and Nun Varvara since 1921. Church of St. Mary Magdalene Church is the main church of the monastery of female Gethsemane Bethany community of Christ’s Resurrection. The icons for the iconostasis painted by S.I. Ivanov and V.P.Vereshchagin.

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