Half way down the western slope of Mount Olives, alongside the Jewish cemetery, is the small Franciscan church, Dominus Flevit, commemorating the place where Jesus wept as he forecast the destruction of Jerusalem (Luke 19:37-41).

Designed by the Franciscan architect Antonio Berluzzi replicas of tear jars stand on each corner of the grey dome. Inside the church, which is tear shaped, the altar faces west not east as is usual in churches and beyond it is an eye level window, also unusual. When one faces the altar, ones eyes are drawn to the view which Jesus would have seen. With one difference. In place of the Dome of the Rock he would have seen the Second Temple.

In the courtyard there are the remains of a wine press and a mosaic floor and at the entrance those of a burial tomb and a number of ossuaries.

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

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