Of the fourteen stations along the Via Dolorosa the last five are inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

The first station marks the trial of Jesus in the Praetorium, residence of the procurator, of which very little remains. The Franciscans begin their Friday procession walk in the compound of the Omariyeh school.

The second station, which recalls the condemnation, is commemorated in the compound of the Franciscan School for Biblical Studies where there are two small churches, built at the beginning of the twentieth century, one depicting the flagellation, the other the placing of the crown of thorns.

The third station is where Jesus stumbled for the first time. The renovations to the Armenian Catholic church, built in the mid nineteenth century, were financed by the Polish soldiers stationed in Palestine during WWII.

The fourth station is where Mary spoke to Jesus. The Armenian Catholic church, built in 1881, is built partly over the ruins of a Byzantine church and partly over those of a Mameluke bath house.

At the fifth station Simon of Cyrene was instructed by the Roman soldiers to help Jesus carry his cross. The small Franciscan chapel was built in 1895.

The sixth station recalls an event not mentioned by the gospels. It is where Veronica wipes the face of Jesus with her veil on which the image of his face is impressed. The Greek Catholic church was built in 1882 on the remains of a Byzantine monastery.

The seventh station is where Jesus stumbles the second time. On display in the Coptic Catholic chapel there is a column which stood in the Byzantine main street, the Cardo.
The eighth station is marked by the word “Nika” engraved on the wall. This is where the daughters of Jerusalem weep for Jesus and it would have been outside the walls of the city of that time.

The column indicating the ninth station is opposite the Coptic church. It is here that Jesus stumbled the third time. The remaining five stations are in the church.

The mosaics on the wall of the Catholic chapel depict Jesus being stripped of his clothes and nailed to the cross (stations ten and eleven). Alongside, under the Orthodox altar is Golgotha, the place where the cross stood, the place of the crucifixion (station twelve).

The large flat stone would have been where Jesus’ body was laid when it was removed from the cross and prepared for burial (station thirteen).

Finally, the place of the tomb, station fourteen, in the centre of what was the original Byzantine church.

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

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