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Jerusalem attractions category

Garden Tomb

Jerusalem Attractions  - 62


Many believe that the Garden Tomb is the garden and tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, a wealthy man who donated his own grave for the body of Jesus. It is said in the Gospels of Nicodemus that Joseph requested permission from Pontius Pilate to remove the body of Jesus from the cross and prepare him for burial. Pilate acquiesced, and swathing the body of Jesus in linen, Joseph interred the body in the sepulcher that he had built for himself. Later, he reported to Jewish elders that had had witnessed a miraculous resurrection. Hundreds of years later, British General Charles Gordon called attention to the Garden Tomb while stationed in Jerusalem in 1883. What initially drew his interest was the skull-like formation of the rocks-Golgotha, the hill whereupon the crucifixion took place, is described as resembling a skull.


The eerie formation of the rocks by the Garden Tomb seem like the deep-set eyes of a skull brooding over a long guardianship of this site. Residing nearby are a garden and ancient tombs which fit the description of the tomb as it is recorded in the Gospels. It is this striking resemblance to gospel accounts that lends the site its particular power, whether or not it is in fact the place where Jesus was laid to rest.


For many Christians, the authenticity of the Garden Tomb as Jesus' burial place is secondary to the inherent significance of an ancient tomb outside the walls of Jerusalem. Here is a place where it is possible to connect, mentally and emotionally, with the events of that fateful night. The main argument against the Church of the Holy Sepulchre as an authentic site is the fact that it is situated within the city limits of Jerusalem. It is against Jewish custom to bury the dead within the city walls. Moreover, the Romans would not have performed a crucifixion within city limits either. In contrast, the newly discovered Skull Hill, being near the Old City of Jerusalem but still outside it, would have been an ideal location for executions. There is in fact some evidence to indicate that executions were carried out in this place during the Second Temple era. Where the crucifixion and burial took place is a question that has intrigued the faithful and scholars for generations. But regardless of which is correct, the remarkable nature of the Garden Tomb as a site to be seen is indisputable.

  • Paid Parking
  • Free entry

Opening Hours

Monday to Saturday, 9:00 to 12:00 and 14:00 to 17:30


The Jerusalem Tourism Map:

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