This church is located east of Bab al-Nabi Daoud (Zion’s Gate). To access it, one must cross the Suq Al-Husur Street and join the Harat al-Sharaf Road that leads to Bab al-Nabi Daoud.


Historical Background


The remains of this church are simply a pile of rubble, from which the basic plan of the church, built by Emperor Justinian in 543 AD, was charted. This church was the greatest church in Jerusalem after the Holy Sepulcher and was built to compete with it. It is located at the end of the road extending from Bab al-Amud (Damascus Gate) to Bab al-Nabi Daoud, which used to be known as the cardo. It is known that the cardo, built by Emperor Hadrian, used to extend until the end of Suq al-Attarin today, and Emperor Justinian extended it to its present status and established this great church. Until recently, just before 1967, some researchers thought that Nea Church was built near al-Aqsa Mosque. Sources of information about this church were descriptions by travelers and the Madaba Mosaic Map of Jerusalem.


Church Plan


It is evident from excavations that the church was planned as a basilica, with the middle aisle larger than the side ones. The aisles end in triple naves, the middle one of which is the largest. Excavations have revealed Greek inscriptions, saying that the church was built upon the orders of Emperor Flavius Justinian. 

Nea Church