Walking the Stations of the Cross

The Mount of Olives, or Mount Olivet, the starting point of our journey through the Holy City of Jerusalem, Via Dolorosa and walking the Stations of the Cross. We were up quite early that day since the best time to start your pilgrim is definitely the morning. By the afternoon, the streets in the old city are jam-packed and it’s quite hard to navigate, especially if it’s your first time here and don’t know your way around.

jerusalem

tour guide

This was our tour guide, Asher Dank. He was great! He knew a lot about Jerusalem and Israel in general, and you could tell he’s very passionate about history and all. If you’re looking for a guide, you can PM and I can give you his details.

pilgrim

You’ll spend almost half the day walking so be sure to wear comfortable shoes and also remember to wear decent and modest clothing since you’ll be entering a lot of Churches and holy sites along the way.

olive trees
Beautiful Olive Trees at the Church of All Nations

church of all nations

We made our way down the Mount of Olives, passing by the Jewish cemetery and at the foot of the mountain was one of the first Churches we stopped at, which is the Church of All Nations. Most known for it’s bedrock where Jesus is believed to have prayed the night before he was crucified.

bedrock

The Church is also known as the Basilica of the Agony while the Bedrock is also known as the Rock of Agony.

praying

Station I: Jesus is Condemned to Die

The first station is located on the north-west corner of the temple mount. As you can see from the photo below it’s present day location is at the Al-Omariya school.

station 1

Station II: Jesus carries His Cross

The 2nd station is located at the Chapel of Condemnation, which I didn’t get a photo of. However beside the Chapel is the Church of Flagellation (photo above) where Jesus was whipped by Roman soldiers.

station 2

Station III: Jesus falls for the first time

station III

Station IV: Jesus meets his mother, Mary

station IV

Station V: Simon helps carry the Cross

Station V

On the right side of the fifth station, you’ll see a square stone with Jesus’ imprint.

Station Five

Station VI: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

According to tradition it was in this station that St. Veronica wiped Jesus’ face with her handkerchief, leaving an image of his face imprinted on the cloth. The relic, known as the Sudarium or Veronica, is kept at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Which now thinking about, I don’t remember seeing while I was there. Will have to remember to check it out if ever I get to visit St. Peter’s Basilica again.

Station VI

Station VII: Jesus falls for the second time

Station VII

Station VII: Jesus meets the three women of Jerusalem

Station VIII

Station VI: Jesus falls for the third time

Stations of the Cross

The remaining stations are all located inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, one of the most holiest places in Jerusalem.

Station X: Jesus is stripped of his clothes
Station XI: Jesus is nailed to the cross
Station XII: Jesus dies on the cross
Station XIII: Jesus is taken down from the cross
Station XIV: Jesus is placed in the tomb

We sat for a few minutes before entering the Church, learning about the the parts of the Church belonged to who. Check our guide’s pic below.

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Showing you guys the line for The Rock of Calvary, where Jesus’ Cross was mounted on the Rock of Golgotha (the top part of the rock can be seen at left beneath the glass enclosure).

Rock of Calvary

It was around mid-afternoon when we arrived and there were already a lot of people waiting in line. You’re only allowed around a minute inside, so the line moves along pretty quickly.

Rock of Golgotha

The last station, the tomb of Jesus.

Tomb of Jesus

When we arrived they had just closed off entering to perform a ceremony. I’m not sure about how often they do it during the day and at what times but we decided to wait it out in the line.

Tomb of Jesus

We waited around 20-30 minutes before it was our turn to go inside and just like the Rock of Calvary, you’re only allowed a few minutes inside. It was short but so moving, definitely worth the long wait. There are no photos allowed inside but you can kind of see it in my photo above. When you enter, there’s small room and then there’s an even smaller room where you kind of have to duck down, which is Jesus’ tomb.

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

So amazing!!! Aside from the Stations of the cross, we did visit some other places along the way and also after the stations. Check some of them out below:

Church of the Sepulchre of Saint Mary

We passed another beautiful Church, the Church of the Sepulchre of Saint Mary, where the Virgin Mary’s Tomb is. You can see the entrance to the tomb in the photo above, where the lady in blue is standing.

Tomb of the Virgin Mary

During the pilgrim, we stopped along the way at a hotel (can’t remember the name!). We paid a few shekels for the entrance and climbed the stairs to the top floor, where there was an amazing view of Jerusalem.

jerusalem

Jerusalem

We also stopped by King David’s Tomb. It was quite a small room and there were a lot of people, so e didn’t stay long but it was nice to learn a little bit about him.

The Western Wall, or the Wailing Wall, our last stop for the day. A holy and sacred place for the Jewish. We wrote prayers on pieces of paper and headed to the Wall (the men on the left side and women on the right) and placed them in the crevices.  People say that you should never turn your back towards the wall which is why you’ll see a lot, if not all, walking backwards away from the wall.

Western Wall

Wailing Wall

Walking the Stations of the Cross is definitely one of the highlights of my life so far! Have you guys ever been? Or do you have plans to visit in the future? Let me know in the comments section below.

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62 Comments

  1. This walk looks so much full of history and heritage! I am fascinated by the Tomb of Jesus and the olive trees! Would love to explore a city with so much heritage to offer!

  2. You did see a lot and also absorbed a lot. It’s always good to go to places like these with a guide. That way you come to know about the rich culture, the history from them. Jerusalem is one such place.

  3. I am not religious but this doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate the stories and the churches, with their impressive architecture. Following the journey of Jesus Christ, from where he was sentenced to death to the place he died on the cross must be really something for religious people. I can understand why the road can get so crowded in the afternoon. It sounds like a very insightful tour.

  4. My parents just did this last May and I wish I had gone with them. This is a walk I would love to do. It feels so sepcial. I feel like we’ve been learning it forever, it would feel diferent being there.

  5. I’m pretty sure that’s a lot of walking you did. I think it is really fulfilling to go there even once in your life. It’s a part of ancient history, but of the world. Something that anyone can dream of visiting. How I wish I could visit there myself as well.

  6. Ihope that one day, I will also tour Jerusalem and other places where Jesus lived and set foot once. It gives a different feeling knowing you’ve been to where he suffered and respectfully obliged to the wishes of God the father.

  7. You have given us a wonderful commentary with your pictures. This is one place I have been dreaming to get to for a long time. I hope it happens soon. You are truly blessed to have walked this route.

  8. Jerusalem is a place replete with history and spirituality. The events leading to the crucifixion of Jesus are brought out so well in your post. I am sure the experience of getting into the narrow confines where the tomb of Jesus is must have been unique.

  9. I really want to go to Israel particularly to this holy place. I partly am envious seeing your photos but on a greater part I am happy for you. It must be blessing to step on and walk through the holy stations.

  10. Wow, I had no idea this was a thing. I grew up in a Catholic family, and my family would love to do something like this. They often observe the stations of the cross locally, but to be able to retrace the footsteps of Jesus must be such a powerful religious journey.

  11. Very interesting! I’m no longer Catholic or Christian, but can certainly appreciate the historical significance of these places – I imagine some of it can be quite emotionally overwhelming to some people!

  12. A very nice pick of places to visit and the photos are amazing. I would love to visit Israel one day since I am a great history fan. Wanted to go last year but something showed up and I had to cancel everything. You are very lucky to be there, so enjoy it!

  13. You have just done, what I would say in Tagalog as the “pinakaastig na station of the cross”. To do it in the holy land itself has got to be an experience like no other. I am not religious but I think even non-religious people like me would be compelled to take this trip in Israel, if not for faith at least for its historical relevance.

  14. First of all congratulations on your blog post, I love posts with lots of pictures, I can feel that I was there with you. I really want to bring my parents there, they will love. So much history about religion.

  15. What a different kind of touring! I will do this when I visit Jerusalem. The churches also look extravagant compared to the ones we have in PH. Also, every place boasts history and old stories. I remember people saying they feel closer to God after visiting Jerusalem. I’m sure this place will attract more people come holy week.

  16. Thanks for sharing this. I love how you described every point you went to, ah! with all the walk you have done, I agree when you said, it’s really advisable to have comfortable shoes. It’s also good that they organized pretty well with the number of people flocking to this place, although one minute seems like not enough to take a glimpse of the Jesus cross mounted, yet, I also feel everyone else of how many there are in the place. Although I am not going soon to Jerusalem, I keep the contact information of the blogs I read about the place, if it’s not too much for you, please send or share Asher Dank’s details for future reference. 🙂 Thank you a lot

  17. Wow. While reading, I felt like I was beside you and seeing the things and places you saw. Such beauty and grandeur! It’s great that you mentioned about wearing appropriate clothes since you were going to visit holy places. Well, I’m actually eyeing to join a pilgrimage to the Holy City and this surely enlightened me on what to wear and bring! Also, on how to act. I think, I’d be actually speechless and be in awe when I get there.

  18. I am not a history freak but still enjoyed your post with the pictures. The tomb of Jesus is worth admiring. And I too say the best way to learn and enjoy these tours is with guide only. The views from the top are amazing.

  19. The life like images made me feel that i was in Israel. This is the first time I am seeing images of all these places associated with Jesus Christ. I guess Israel should encourage more people to come to that country and travel.

  20. What an incredible opportunity to see those famous places in person. They feel like something out of a legend, but you’ve been able to make the pilgrimage to all of them. Thanks for sharing.

  21. Part of my bucketlist is to visit Jerusalem and have the same experience. It’s quite intriguing for me on how did they know the exact places for these events happened for more than 2000 years ago. Nevertheless, I will still visit this place. 🙂

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