Church of the Holy Sepulchre
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City of Jerusalem covers what Christians believe is the site of the most important event in human history: The place where Jesus Christ rose from the dead.
But the pilgrim who looks for the hill of Calvary and a tomb cut out of rock in a garden nearby will be disappointed.
• At first sight, the church may bring on a sense of anticlimax. Looking across a hemmed-in square, there is the shabby façade of a dun-coloured, Romanesque basilica with grey domes and a cut-off belfry.
• Inside, there is a bewildering conglomeration of 30-plus chapels and worship spaces. These are encrusted with the devotional ornamentation of several Christian rites.
This sprawling Church of the Holy Sepulchre displays a mish-mash of architectural styles. It bears the scars of fires and earthquakes, deliberate destruction and reconstruction down the centuries. It is often gloomy and usually thronging with noisy visitors.