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The Christian Shrines of Jerusalem

The Garden of Gethsemane - Kidron Valley Part I

The Garden of Gethsemane is one of the sacred places in the Christian tradition. It is still rich today in olive trees hundreds of years old and it is possible that these may be shoots of the same trees that witnessed Jesus' last night before his arrest. Gethsemane is derived from the Hebrew expression Gat Shemen which means olive press, a reference to the natural abundance of these trees and to the presence of oil presses in the region.
Gethsemane holds an important place in the Gospel story, since Jesus spent there the night before his arrest, after eating the Last Supper with his disciples.

The Church of All Nations was built by the Italian architect Antonio Barluzzi between 1919-1924. The name commemorates the contributions made by many countries to its construction. It is also known as the Basilica of the Agony, in reference to agony Jesus suffered on the eve of His Passion.
On the site of the present church there was a fourth century Byzantine "elegant" basilica as it is called by the IV century pilgrim Egeria. A new basilica was built on the site during the the Crusader period. Some remnants of the original Byzantine mosaic paving can still be seen inside the church.
In front of the high altar there is a large fragment of rock on which Jesus is supposed to have prayed the night before the Passion. The rock is entirely surrounded by a crown of thorns in wrought iron. In the apses there are several mosaics representing Christ in Agony being Consoled by an Angel, The Kiss of Judas and The Arrest of Jesus.

The Garden of Gethsemane

The Mount of Olives (32KB)
small image (10KB)
large image (106KB)
detail (large) (271KB)


Another view of the Mount of Olives (45KB)
small image (14KB)
large image (154KB)
large image (217KB)


An ancient olive tree, twisted and gnarled (61KB)
small image (18KB)
large image (204KB)
detail (large) (275KB)


Another ancient olive tree (140KB)
large image (333KB)


An olive grove at Gethsemane (39KB)
large image (125KB)




The Church of All Nations

The Church of All Nations (43KB) --- small image (15KB) --- large image (158KB) --- detail (large) (201KB)


A perspective view of the Church of All Nations (119KB) --- small image (36KB) --- large image (258KB)


Another view of the Church of All Nations (114KB) --- small image (35KB) --- large image (231KB) --- large image (222KB)


The façade of the church with the mosaic Jesus as a Link between God and the Human Race (43KB) --- small image (14KB) --- large image (152KB) --- large image (215KB)


Detail of the façade (95KB) --- small image (30KB) --- large image (212KB)


Another detail of the façade (103KB) --- small image (31KB) --- large image (274KB)


Another detail of the façade (119KB) --- small image (37KB) --- large image (276KB)


Another detail of the façade (133KB) --- small image (41KB) --- large image (304KB)


Another detail of the façade (133KB) --- small image (41KB) --- large image (304KB)


Christ in Agony being Consoled by an Angel - Mosaic in the altar apse (86KB) --- small image (27KB) --- large image (200KB) --- detail (large) (225KB)


Another view of Christ in Agony (86KB) --- small image (27KB) --- large image (215KB)


The Kiss of Judas - Mosaic in the side apse (119KB) --- small image (35KB) --- large image (318KB)


The Arrest of Jesus - Mosaic in the side apse (96KB) --- small image (27KB) --- large image (318KB)


The dome of the church (42KB) --- small image (13KB) --- large image (137KB) --- detail (large) (247KB)

© copyright 2001. Reflections and Prayers by John Abela ofm
Descriptive text by John Abela, ofm and Michael Olteanu
based on research by Albert Storm (SBF - Jerusalem)
Hi-Res pictures prepared by Michael Olteanu
Display pictures prepared by John Abela ofm



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Created / Updated Sunday, January 6, 2002 at 14:14:24 by John Abela ofm
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