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“Needs more than one visit”

Church of the Holy Sepulchre
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Jerusalem and Bethlehem Tour from Jerusalem
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Full-Day Trip of Jerusalem and Bethlehem from Tel Aviv
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Jerusalem Daily Half Day Tour from Herzliya
Ranked #9 of 310 things to do in Jerusalem
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: Built in the fourth century over the site of a Roman Pagan temple, this is considered one of the world’s holiest shrines to Christians, preserving the most important moments of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Reviewed 25 July 2014

Read Martyk74's and MaryCoolBreeze's reviews as they are spot on. GO EARLY to avoid crushing crowds, and don't attempt to go near Easter or Christmas! This historic church is managed by at least 5 denominations, each with its own chapels & on-site monastery. The artwork is stunning and the ambiance very spiritual. Best to go without a tour guide pushing you rapidly through, as much you see is self-explanatory. Get a guide booklet or use the DK Jerusalem book so you can take your time. This is the church built on the traditional sites of Jesus' death on the cross and the rock tomb in which he was buried and 3 days later, rose from the dead.
Over the centuries, this massive, confusing church was built with multiple chapels, shrines, and altars. Everything is heavily decorated with icons, gold, tapestries, incense burners, filagreed marble, and mosaic. It is NOT handicap accessible and there is no public restroom on site. Many narrow stone stairs, NO elevator. Expect lots of standing in line in close quarters with hundreds of people who are all anxious to worship at the holiest sites in Christianity. No flash photography.

1  Thank Ohhhdear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,690 - 1,694 of 4,739 reviews

Reviewed 25 July 2014

The Church lies in the Old City, an easy walk from other religious sites. It's set back in an expansive courtyard and is architecturally impressive, particlarly inside. Spend time exploring its cool interior but be ready to queue for the most visited areas.

3  Thank NBLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 July 2014

I did not like this place. I know the historic background of it (even though it might be debateable historic accuracy). I just did not like the mysticism surrounding the place, with thousands of people pushing to get one second or glimpse or a touch of stone, icon, etc. However, I’m sure many like it

Thank nibu1979
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 July 2014

Plan to spend a couple hours and or visit at least twice to be able to take in the true spiritual sanctity of the Holy Sepulchre.
We arrived in time for the priests and monks to chant the Stations of the Cross. Moving!
Line or no line, the entrance into Jesus' tomb of resurrection is amazing and walking the steep marble steps to the altar of Jesus' crucifixtion with people from around the world sharing in one body of adornment is breathtaking. Silence and candlelight, kneeling and prayers are understood without a word being said.
The rock upon the entrance where Jesus is believed to have been laid when taken down from the cross is never without a head bowed down. The oils of the world are present as you reach out to touch the stone. Amazing!
Walk full circle around the Church and through the center sacristy to admire the artwork and carvings. Sit and watch as the world admires everything the Holy Sepulchre has to offer. It is truly a sacred place at the heart of Jerusalem

1  Thank MCoolBreezeH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2014

I give 3 stars for a midday visit but if you go early in the morning, it's a 5 star rating.
If you want a peaceful and moving religious experience, go early, early, early. My husband and I went twice, once with a private guide in the middle of the day. It's a madhouse - cramped, crowded and for me unenjoyable. The atmosphere certainly does not lend itself to comtemplation and reverance.
My husband wanted to see the tomb of Jesus but we weren't willing to wait in the line. He decided to get up very early one morning and go back. I didn't go with him but he must have gotten there between 6:30 and 7 am. There were a few people there but nothing like the crowds at midday. This is the time to go for peaceful prayer and to soak in the significance. There will be no line or a very short line for the tomb and you will be able to explore the church without being pushed and tiptoeing to get a look over a sea of heads.

Thank Martyk74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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