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Via Dolorosa 1-9

Via Dolorosa 1-9

Via Dolorosa 1-9

To access the first station, Via Dolorosa (in Italian) or the Way of the Cross/the Way of Sorrow as it is known in English, follow al-Mujahideen Street towards al-Wad Street, turning right as you leave St. Anne’s church, walking 400 meters and arriving at al-Umariyya School, the first station of Via Dolorosa. The location used to be known as Antonia Fortress, referring to Roman Emperor Antonius.

 

Via Dolorosa: Stations and Meaning in the Christian Tradition

 

Via Dolorosa refers to the route that Jesus Christ took as he carried the Cross, after He was sentenced to crucifixion, and until his death and burial. The route is divided into 14 stations, nine of which are outside the Church of Holy Sepulcher and five inside it. The stations are idiomatic in the sense that they are names agreed on, rather than historical points. They developed and changed in a complex manner and continue to suffer from basic disagreements, for example, some historians believe that the sentence was passed at Herod’s Palace, where the Citadel is today, rather than at the Antonia Fortress where al-Umariyya School is. The current Via Dolorosa route was finally agreed on in the early 19th century, and is different from what it was in the times of Christ. It is a religious site for Christian sects, particularly Catholics, who march along the route to commemorate its events every Friday at 3:00 pm, starting from al-Umariyya School. Protestants do not recognize these stations, but most pilgrims and tourists walk the route and read the gospel along the stations. Via Dolorosa is a main feature of the Old City of Jerusalem, although streets and crossings have changed substantially since the time of Christ. The stations and their locations are as follows:

 

Main Events at the Station

Station Location

Christ’s trial and sentence to death

Al-Umariyya School

Christ carries the Cross and is lashed

Al-Jald (Lashing) Church, across from Al-Umariyya School

Christ falls under the weight of the Cross

First crossing of Al-Mujahideen Street (Via Dolorosa) and al-Wad Street

Christ meets his mother Mary

A few meters south of the third station

Simon the Cyrene carries the Cross for Christ

Beginning of ‘Aqabat al-Mufti junction with al-Wad Street

St. Veronica wipes Christ’s face

Halfway down ‘Aqabat al-Mufti Street

Christ falls again from the weight of the Cross

The crossing of ‘Aqabat al-Mufti and Khan al--Zait

Christ faces the weeping Jerusalem women

Halfway down al-Khanqa al-Salahiyya southwards

Christ falls under the weight of the Cross for the third time.

The Coptic Church at the entrance of Deir al-Sultan.

 

The remaining five stations are inside the Church of Holy Sepulcher, as agreed by Christian scholars. These are: stripping Christ of his clothes, placing Christ on the Cross, Christ’s death on the Cross (these three stations are at the Golgotha), taking Christ’s body down from the Cross, and burying Christ.

Via Dolorosa 1-9
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