The Armenian Quarter is one of the four sections into which the Old City of Jerusalem is divided. (The others . are the Jewish, Christian and Moslem quarters). Enclosed by its own inner wall and home to both a cleric and lay population of about two thousand it includes a convent, school, sports field and youth club. Along the walk from the Jaffa Gate past the Zion Gate and to the Jewish Quarter are many small shops displaying the beautiful Armenian pottery which is locally made.

One of the highlights at the Mardigian Armenian Museum, which includes illuminated manuscripts and documentation of the history of the Armenian people in Turkey, is the printing press brought to Jerusalem by the Armenians in the 1830’s.

One of the earliest chapels in the beautifully decorated St. James Cathedral is believed to be a fourth century shrine indicating the place where James was beheaded by order of Herod Agrippa I. (Acts 12:1-2). While his head remained here, the tradition is that his body is in Santiago de Compostella in Spain.

The exquisite centuries old treasures of the Armenian Patriarchate are publicly displayed once a year on St. James day.

Text content copyrights: Bein Harim Ltd., Beryl Ratzer (www.ratzer.com)

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