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

Illustrations 7a: Jerusalem - first part (19-21)


The twin pools of Betzatha (called also Probatica, Bethesda, and Bethsaida) were a prominent topographic element of the Jerusalem landscape, mentioned by many 4th century authors. Cyril of Jerusalem explains the presence of five porticoes (Omily on the paralytic of the Probatica - ca. 448 AD) with these words: "four porticoes were built all around, and the fifth stood in between".
A Christian basilica, resting on a row of huge pillars, was erected in the 5th century over the twin pools where Jesus miraculously healed a man who had been ill for thirty-eight years (John 5:2-18).

19. The Probatica

20. The Pinnacle 20.

The Pinnacle of the Temple is identified, by many Jerusalem guides, in the southeastern corner of the Haram al-Sharif ("the noble precinct"). The lower portion of this corner is part of the Herodian Temple of Jerusalem (destroyed by the Roman army in 70 AD). Many stones of enormous size can be seen, some of them reach the estimated weight of 100 tons. At the times of the anonymous pilgrim of Bordeaux, two statues of the Emperor Hadrian were standing in the center of the sacred precinct.


The Dome of the Rock (Qubbat al-Sakhra). Bird's eye view of the rock from the interior. There is almost unanimity in maintaining that this Islamic shrine is built on the exact spot where once stood the Holy of Holiest in the Jewish temple. A cave, the opening of which is seen on the rock surface, may be identified with the perforated stone mentioned in the pilgrim's account. A Roman imperial decree barred Jews from living in Jerusalem, as a result they used to return once a year to bewail bitterly on the destruction of their nation.

21. The Dome of he Rock

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Project, design, research and realization carried out by Eugenio Alliata ofm,
assistant professor of Christian Archaeology at SBF-Jerusalem.
Updated Thu, Dec 9, 1999 at 04:49 by John Abela ofm - Space by courtesy of Christus Rex
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