Church of the Dormition

Church of the Dormition

The  magnificent Dormition church is located on Mount Zion, southwest of the Old City of Jerusalem and it perpetuates the deep sleep of Mary, mother of Jesus. “Dormitio” in Latin means “to sleep”. The church was first built in the fourth century and called “Hagia Zion” (Holy Zion) but since then it has undergone many periods of destruction and renovation by the various rulers of Jerusalem. The church as it stands today was built in the neo-Romanesque style of the Middle Ages and was inaugurated in 1910. It is maintained by the German Benedictine Order and is decorated in the style of many churches in the Christian world, with mosaics showing figures from the Old and New Testaments and paintings of a variety of saints. The crypt contains a wooden statue of Mary who has fallen asleep and above it, a mosaic of Jesus surrounded by six women who prefigure Mary: Eve; Miriam, Moses’ sister; Yael, the wife of Hever, the Kenite; Judith; Ruth, the Moabit and Queen Esther.

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