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Franciscan Friary
St. Francis Str. 1
Jerusalem



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Rebuilding the Sanctuaries

The Sanctuaries of the Holy Land are like reliquaries housing the precious treasures of Christianity: places sanctified by Christ, the Virgin Mary, the Apostles and the many other participants in Salvation history. In the history of the Sanctuaries of the Holy Land there are four quite distinct periods of construction or of restoration, alternating with periods of destruction or abandonment.

The pre-Byzantine period
Houses and premises related to the presence of Jesus are trasformed into places of worship. These places of worship seem to have been structurally inspired by the synagogue layout (= church-synagogue).

The Byzantine period (323-638)
A flourishing period with Sanctuaries, churches, monasteries and pilgrim houses cropping up all over Palestine, especially in the Jerusalem area.

The Crusader's Period (1099-1187)
After 471 years of Arab-Moslem occupation in Palestine (638-1099) we find the Crusader period. The arrival of the Crusades meant also a feverish activity of rebuilding sanctuaries of grandeur embellished with the most refined artistic beauty. This activity touched all the major shrines of the Holy Land.

The Franciscan Period
This can be divided into two distinct phases: one giong from the beginning of the XIV century up to 1920 (the islamic and Turkish reigns) and the other from 1920 to this day (since the British Mandate). During the first phase the Franciscans were always considered as "foreigners", subjects or protected by foreign powers often hostile to the Ottoman Empire. This created difficulties even to obtain and bring to the Holy Land the necessary means for survival. During this phase even the buildings were sombre, small and many a time built in a hurry to avoid losing the obtained permissions. After the first World War (1915-18) and the fall of the Turkish Empire, the situation changed completely and the Custody of the Holy Land undertook an extensive activity to rebuild the sanctuaries. Initially the architects followed the plans of preceeding structures for their new projects. Such is the case at Emmaus and the Nutrition Sanctuary in Nazareth. But this tendency gave way to a new architectural dimension: the sanctuaries where to reflect the "moods" and the "particular mysteries" they represented and protect the unearthed archaeological treasures witness to the uninterrupted devotion to the site by the Christians of the Holy Land. Here enters a figure who dedicated all his life and wit to the building of the new sanctuaries of the Holy Land - Architect Antonio Barluzzi (Tabor, Gethsemane, Bethany, Shepherds' Field, Visitation - Ein Kerem, Dominus Flevit, Beatitutes). The last two sanctuaries built by the Custody reflect also an accentuated modern line of structures (Nazareth and Capharnaum).

Chronology


1343
The Crusader building at the Cenacle is restored by Cypriot architects.

1479
During the guardianship of Fr. Giovanni Tomacelli from Naples all the ceiling beams of the Nativity Church at Bethlehem were restored. The wooden beams were prepared in Venice and transported on the Galleys of the Republic of Venice to Jaffa. The expenses were paid by Philip Duke of Burgundy. The lead used for the protection of the roof was donated by Edward IV King of England.

1485
The area of the grotto of the Nativity of St. John at Ein Kerem is readapted for worship.

1555
At the time of Custos Fr. Boniface of Ragusa, important restoration works are carried out in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, especially of the Edicule.

1620
The first adaptations carried out at the Annunciation Site in Nazareth tranforming the abondoned site into a place of worship.

1621
A church is built at Ein Kerem on the Grotto of the Nativity of St. John.

1631
The Franciscans acquire Mount Tabor and tranform a Turkish bath present at the site into a small Chapel memorial of the Gospel event of the Transfiguration.

1664
Works are carried out at St. John in Ein Karem for the reopening of the Church obtained through the intervention of the Marquis of Montella, ambassabor of the King of France at Constantinople.

1674
General restoration is carried out at St. John the Baptist Church - Ein Kerem.

1679
The lower Chapel at the Visitation in Ein Kerem is restored and opend for worship.

1719
The Dome of the Rotunda above the Edicule of the Holy Sepulchre was complety reconstructed by the Custody.

1730
The first Franciscan Church of the Annunciation at Nazareth is completed.

1754
Trasformation into a small chapel of a Turkish house at the site of the "Nutrition" in Nazareth (known also as "St. Joseph's workshop")

1838
Reconstruction of the Nutrition Church at Nazareth after it was destroyed by an earthquake the year before.

1839
Restoration of the Flagellation chapel in Jerusalem.

1870
Restoration, after an earthquake, of the lower chapel of the Visitation at Ein Kerem.

1872
Building of a Chapel at Emmaus.

1873-75
Building of a Church and Friary on the ruins of Mount Tabor.

1877
Enlargement and embellishment of the Annunciation Church at Nazareth.

1880
Building of a small Church at Cana of Galilee.

1880
Building of a small oratory at Naim.

1883
Building of a small chapel at Betfage on the Crusader and Byzantine ruins.

1891
Building of a small chapel at "Dominus Flevit" on the slopes of Mount of Olives.

1894-1900
Restoration and enlargement of the Church of St. John at Ein Kerem.

1901
Construction of the Basilica at Emmaus

1903-4
Building of the Condemnation Chapel in Jerusalem

1911-14
Building of the Nutrition Sanctuary at Nazareth

1919-24
Building of the Agony Basilica at Gethsemane: first stone in 1919; work begins in 1922; consecration in 1924.

1921
Partial reconstruction of the Synagogue of Capharnaum.

1921-24
Building of the Trasfiguration Basilica on Mount Tabor.

1924
Building of the "Good Shepherd" Church in Jericho.

1927-29
Restoration and enlargement of the Crusader Chapel of Flagellation in Jerusalem.

1934
Building of two chapels at the site of the Baptism of Christ on the banks of River Jordan.

1934
Construction of the sanctuary of the Primacy of Peter at Tabgha on the Lake of Galilee.

1937
Restoration of the Latin Chapel of the Crucifixion on Calvary.

1938-40
Building of the new Sanctuary of the Visitation at Ein Kerem.

1952-53
Construction of the new Sanctuary at Bethany.

1953-54
Building of the Shepherds' Field near Bethlehem.

1954
Complete renewal of the sanctuary at Betphage

1955
Building of the new Sanctuary of Dominus Flevit

1955-69
Archaeological research and building of the new Basilica at the site of the Annunciation in Nazareth - consacrated on March 23rd 1969.

1956
Complete restoration of the Grotto of Gethsemane after the floods.

1957
Reconsstruction of the Chapel of the Baptism on the banks of River Jordan damaged by an earthquake.

1963-64
General restoration of the Grottos (known as the Grottos of St. Jerome) adjacent to the Nativity Grotto in Bethlehem.

1990
29 June - Dedication of the new Church of St. Peter on the Domus Ecclesiae at Capharnaum

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Created / Updated Monday, December 17, 2001 at 04:15:53 by John Abela ofm
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