Based on the 1999 Calendar published by Massolini Group - Collebeato (BS) Italy by Mario and Claudia Massolini
copyright text by Michele Piccirillo; photos by Garo Nalbandian and Basilio Rodella

HOLY LAND OF THE CRUSADERS - 05
  The Sanctuary of Ascension on Mount of Olives east of Jerusalem
 Ciborium - Ascension Church.
 Capitel - Ascension Ciborium
 Entrance to Jerusalem
 
 Resurrection of Lazarus Lion from Bethany Holy Family from Bethany The village of Bethany
 

THE HOLY LAND OF THE CRUSADERS


Armenian Codex - Ascension of Jesus.


The Holy Sepulchre - Façade

The Mount of Olives sanctuaries
On the top of the Mount of Olives the pilgrims rested in the church of the Ascension. The Crusaders reconstructed the octagonal form sanctuary. The centre of the building was occupied by an octagonal ciborium that surrounded the altar and a rock on which could be seen the footprints left by Jesus. When the Muslims retook the city, the church was destroyed. Of the sanctuary only the bases of the external pillars of the church and the central ciborium with its cupola and walled side openings remained. Of note are the small sculpted capitals with facing birds and interlaced motives. On the eastern slope of the mountain the pilgrims could visit the chapel of Betfage, the starting point for the Palm Sunday procession. Inside the chapel there was a dado of fresco decorated rock with scenes of the Palm Procession, and of the Resurrection of Lazarus, recording the point at which Jesus commenced his entry into Jerusalem. By continuing toward the east, there was found at Bethany the sanctuary of St. Lazarus reconstructed by Queen Melisenda inside a fortified monastery, defended by a tower, inhabited by Benedictine nuns. Of the church unearthed by the Franciscan archaeologists there remain some fragments of sculptures in marble, such as a Sacred Family, a lion and various finely carved vegetable motives.

LA TERRA SANTA DEI CROCIATI

I santuari del Monte degli Olivi
Sulla cima del Monte degli Olivi i pellegrini sostavano nella chiesa dell’Ascensione. I Crociati ricostruirono il santuario di forma ottagonale. Il centro dell’edificio era occupato da un ciborio ottagonale che circondava l’altare e una roccia sulla quale venivano mostrate le orme lasciate da Gesù. Quando i musulmani ripresero la città, la chiesa fu distrutta. Del santuario restano le basi dei pilastri perimetrali della chiesa e il ciborio centrale coperto a cupola con le aperture laterali murate. Si fanno notare i capitellini scolpiti con volatili affrontati e con motivi ad intreccio. Sul versante orientale della montagna i pellegrini potevano visitare la cappella di Betfage, inizio della processione la Domenica delle Palme. All’interno della cappella un dado di roccia affrescato con le scene della Processione delle Palme e della Resurrezione di Lazzaro, ricordava il punto dal quale Gesù iniziò il suo ingresso in Gerusalemme. Seguitando a scendere, li attendeva a Betania il santuario di San Lazzaro ricostruito dalla regina Melisenda all’interno di un monastero fortificato difeso da una torre. Il santuario era affidato alle monache benedettine. Della chiesa riportata alla luce dagli archeologi francescani restano alcuni frammenti di scultura in marmo, come una Sacra Famiglia, un leone e diversi motivi vegetali finimente realizzati.


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