St. Mark’s Church can be accessed from Prophet David Street, which crosses with the Christian Quarter Street. Turn south to Suq l-Husur and walk down the street until the intersection of St. Mark’s Church Street, south of Suq al-Bazaar and east of the Armenian Quarter, near the end of the three Suqs to the south.


Historical Background


The origins of this church date to the 5th century, but it was renovated and rebuilt over a number of eras, most prominent of which was the Franks period. It is among the oldest churches of Jerusalem and was established by the Syrian sect, whose members consider themselves among the earliest Christian sects of Jerusalem. According to Syrian tradition, the location of this church was the home of St. Mark and the place of the Last Supper of Christ with His disciples. During renovation work in 1940, an inscription was discovered with Aramaic script, to the effect that the site was turned into a church in the name of the Virgin Mary after Christ’s ascension and was rebuilt in the year 73 AD after the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus.


Architectural Description of the Church


The church’s façade is very simple in terms of architectural composition. The entrance is a rectangular door topped by a decorated pointed lintel and surrounded by molded motifs. The style of architecture suggests that it dates back to the Franks era. The church has a rectangular scheme extending from west to east. Its altar dome is based eastwards. The above-mentioned writing is affixed in the southern wall. In the northwest corner, an opening leads to an underground basement, which the Syrian sect believes was the site of the Last Supper, rather that Zion’s cenacle at the shrine of the Prophet David. The church was renovated in 1733 AD and towards the end of the first half of the 20th century, and it has had several renovation projects in the last two decades. The monastery adjacent to this church includes several rooms and halls, as well as a library with valuable Aramaic and Syrian manuscripts.

St. Mark’s Church / Syrian Monastery