Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Dormition Abbey & Last Supper

Recently, I've been exploring parts of the Old City that I've never ventured into before. And on my list of places to see was the Dormition Abbey, a marvelous church in the Old City's present Armenian Quarter where the Virgin Mary is said to have died. After a few wrong turns, we finally found ourselves turning down the correct alleyway to behold the Dormition Abbey:



As you can see, it is a really beautiful sight to behold. The current church and monastery that sit on the grounds of the Dormition Abbey have been owned and cared for by the German Benedictine Order since 1906. Its location inside the Armenian Quarter places this building in a very quaint, quiet and relaxing part of the Old City:

Many visitors come to this area simply to see the towers and spires stemming from the building, along with the rotunda topping the Dormition Abbey. These images were taken on top of the property, although below and inside this point is where the Virgin Mary's alleged home and place of death once were:



By far the main attraction around the grounds of the Dormition Abbey is a visit to the Room of the Last Supper where Jesus is thought to have had his historic last meal with his 12 disciples. There is no proof that the Last Supper actually took place in this room; in fact, there are multiple locations that historians and theologians point to. However, this particular space near the Dormition Abbey is commonly referred to as a possible match for this most famous meal:

What do you think? Here's a picture of Da Vinci's famous painting The Last Supper that just might have taken place in this room.


On a side note, on our way out of the Dormition Abbey on the road back toward the Jaffa Gate, we ran into a very exciting scene. In fact, we ran into two exciting happenings. Below you will see some images of two different Bar or Bat Mitzvah parades making their ways to the Western Wall for a young 13-year old's Bar or Bat Mitzvah ceremony. If you come into the Old City (especially on a Monday or Thursday in the morning hours) you are very likely to run into a Bar or Bat Mitzvah parade making its way down the street with music blasting, drummers drumming, instruments sounding off, people cheering and clapping and all kinds of excitement going on:


Hope you're enjoying seeing these bits and pieces of life, history and sight-seeing throughout the Old City!


  1. Nice post! If you need someone to show you some of the real hidden secrets of the Old City, let me know! :-)

  2. Joel - I am sure there are endless things to see in the Old City. What are some of your favorites that maybe I have missed?

  3. What are your areas of interest?

    I like the Cotton Gate, Kotel Katan (Little Western Wall), el-Ummariyah School, cloister of the Church of the Redeemer, excavation pit inside the Cardo, 4-Quarters Rooftop Overlook and many others.

  4. My areas of interest include anything and everything! I am an avid traveler. I know the Cardo well but I will have to add ALL the others to my list. Thank you for the recommendations!

  5. With pleasure! And do you know that specific spot within the Cardo? I know many people who walk through it all the time and have never noticed it!

    I have not gone back over your archives -- do you live here, or are you just here temporarily?

  6. Hi Joel, I am here permanently, though I guess you never really know. I made aliyah almost a year ago, back in November 2010. My husband is Israeli and is the reason for my move!

  7. Awesome! Look forward to meeting you both sometime! :-)


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