Pilgrims who visited the Holy Land between the IV and VII century

THE ANONYMOUS PILGRIM
OF BORDEAUX (333 A.D.)

The earliest Christian description of the Holy Places

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Map IV: Jerusalem


Detailed map
of the city of Jerusalem
as described by the Bordeaux pilgrim


click on any locality name in the map
to view the corresponding
section of the text

Comments

The description of Jerusalem, though wanting in fulness, is a very detailed one. The city of Jerusalem is well the same as the Roman Colonia Aelia Capitolina, founded by the Emperor Hadrian in 135 A. D. Two statues of the founder stand on the Temple Mount and some pagan places are still to be seen. What is new in Jerusalem, at that time, is the feverish building activity in some Christian Holy Places: that is around the Golgotha and the Holy Sepulcher, in the very middle of the city, and at the place of the Ascension on the Mount of Olives. These works required a special order by the Emperor himself (iussu Constantini), especially for the first one, because a pagan temple dedicated to Aphrodite stood exactly on the spot of the Golgotha. The great Historian Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea, recounts how Macarius, bishop of Jerusalem, managed to obtain from the Emperor a permission to destroy the pagan temple and to build a Christian basilica. A later tradition gives credit to St. Elena, Constantine mother, for the finding of the True Cross and the building itself. A Jewish tradition mentioned by the pilgrim is the meeting the Jews perform annually around a perforated stone in the ruins of the Solomon Temple.

The Text

There are in Jerusalem two large pools (piscinae) at the side of the temple. . . [follows]

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