Christian and Muslim Quarters
Fragmented into a dozen denominational domains, the Christian Quarter is capped by the great gray dome of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. (The struggle for visibility in the holy city seems to be as much about dominating the skyline as about controlling real estate.) The numerous churches and religious institutions in this quarter, which is west of the Muslim Quarter, make for low population density.
The Muslim Quarter, located between Damascus Gate and the Western Wall, and west of Lions' Gate, is by far the largest in both area and population. The famous Via Dolorosa (Way of the Cross) that begins in and winds through this quarter on its way to the Holy Sepulcher, is lined with stores displaying Christian souvenirs and artifacts. It's a facade: the side streets, with their little grocery stores, neighborhood mosques, and stenciled pictures of Mecca, bespeak the real character of this residential area. Short dead-end alleys give tantalizing glimpses of the enormous gold Dome of the Rock on the Haram esh-Sharif (aka the Temple Mount).
POINTS OF INTEREST
Ecce Homo Convent of the Sisters of Zion
The arch that crosses the Via Dolorosa, just beyond Station II, and continues into the chapel of the adjacent convent,…Learn More >
Stand in the monastery's courtyard beneath the medieval bulge of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and you have a…Learn More >
Pools of Bethesda and Church of St. Anne
The transition is sudden and complete, from the raucous cobbled streets and persistent vendors to the pepper trees, flower beds,…Learn More >