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Sanctuary of Dominus Flevit

“And as he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it.”

This Franciscan shrine, with its gray tear-shaped dome, was erected in 1955. The name means “The Lord Wept” in Latin and the church commemorates the Gospel account of Jesus weeping over the future destruction of Jerusalem (Luke 19:41).

Inside, are magnificent Byzantine mosaics and an altar. A window offers breathtaking views of the Dome of the Rock and the Old City.

This place was unmarked until the time of the crusaders. In the fifth century, a Byzantine monastery was built here but when the Crusaders left, it fell into ruins. When construction of the new sanctuary began in the 1950s, ruins of the original Byzantine church were found along with ruins of a small church dedicated to the prophetess St. Anne.

Excavations here have also uncovered tombs that date back to the Late Bronze Period. The site was also a necropolis from around 136 BC until 300 AD. Ossuaries (the bone box) were found with inscriptions in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. Some 43 inscriptions were found, incised in charcoal, with religious symbols including crosses, tau and monograms. The words on the tomb reflect the popular names during the life of Jesus: Mary, Matthew, Martha, Philip the Cyrene, Joseph and Jesus.

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