Via Dolorosa

Via Dolorosa, means “Way of Grief”, is a street believed to be the path that Jesus walked to Golgotha (where the present-day Church of the Holy Sepulchre is) with the Cross.

Jerusalem sign of Via Dolorosa
The more you know the story of Jesus, the more your visit will become interesting.

There are 14 stations on the about 1km path; the pilgrims think about Jesus’ story while stopping at each station.

Every Friday at 3:00 pm, Franciscans lead a procession through the Via Dolorosa route from the first station. Hundreds of Christians join in it every time.

1st station: Trial by Pilate

Madrasa al-Omariya (Umariya Elementary School)

Pontius Pilate was the fifth prefect of the Roman province of Judaea. He condemned Jesus to death at this place.

Jerusalem Via Dolorosa 1th station
The first station is now a schoolyard. James Emery

Though it’s been believed that Jesus was sentenced here where the Antonia Fortress was, the latest research says it was near the Jaffa Gate.

2nd station: Jesus carries the cross and gets flogged

Church of the Flagellation<

Jesus was forced to carry the cross and a spine crown on his head, then get flogged by the Roman soldiers.

Jerusalem Via Dolorosa 2nd station Chapel of the Flagellation
The Church of the flagellation is a Roman Catholic church located in the Muslim quarter.

The stained glass shows that story, and also the dome is representing a crown of thorns.

Jerusalem Via Dolorosa the Chapel of the Flagellation
The dome of the Chapel of the Flagellation young shanahan

On the way to the third station, there is the Ecce Homo Church with its famous arch crossing the Via Dolorosa outside.

Pontius Pilate called “Ecce Homo”, “behold the man” in Latin, to present Jesus to the public.

3rd station: the first fall

Jesus falls at the present-day Armenian chapel at the junction of Via Dolorosa and al-Wad street.

Jerusalem Via Dolorosa 3th station
There is a relief of Jesus’ fall on the exterior of a small chapel. Sek Keung Lo

However, there is no description in Gospel that Jesus fell.

The church was built in the 19th century by the Armenian Catholics.

4th station: Jesus meets his mother

Armenian Church of Our Lady of the Spasm

Jerusalem Via Dolorosa 4th station
The church was built in 1881. Sek Keung Lo

Jesus’ mother Mary saw his son here with the cross on his back.

5th station: Simon of Cyrene takes Jesus’ cross

Simon was a Jewish pilgrim who came to Jerusalem from Cyrene, a city in the present-day Libya.

He was eventually forced to take the cross on his back by the Roman soldiers.

Jerusalem Via Dolorosa 5th station
Heading to west again after turning right from al-Wad St. Francisco Martins

And they compel one passing by, Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus, coming from the country, that he might carry His cross.

Mark, chapter 15:21

6th station: Veronica wipes the sweat of Jesus

It is believed that this is where Veronica wipes the face of Jesus with a cloth; when Jesus returns the cloth, his face comes up to its surface.

Jerusalem Via Dolorosa 6th station
Now the sixth station is the Church of the Holy Face and Saint Veronica, a Greek-Roman Catholics church. Britchi Mirela

The cloth, “Veil of Veronica”, is said to be kept in Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vatican. As the veil was copied so much until the Middle Ages, we can never know which or what is the truth.

7th station: the second fall

Jesus passes through the Gate of Judgment where the name of the accused is posted.

Jerusalem Via Dolorosa 7th station
The chapel in 7th Station Anton 17

The rampart ended here at that time; Jesus heads up to Golgotha out from the gate.

8th station: Jesus meets pious women

On the way to Golgotha, Jesus consoles pious women.

Jerusalem Via Dolorosa 8th station
There is an embedded stone marking IC XC NIKA, means Jesus Christ conquers. momo

A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. Jesus turned and said to them, Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children.

Luke 23:27-28

9th station: the third fall

The ninth station is on the north-eastern wall of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, at the entrance of the Coptic Church of St. Helen.

It is on a narrow path, down to the south through Suq Khan Al-Zeit st. lead from the Damascus Gate, then up to the stairs to the west.

Jerusalem Via Dolorosa 9th station
Wooden cross at the right of the entrance is a mark. momo

There is, however, no description in the Gospels about the third fall.

10th station: Jesus is stripped of his garments

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

The tenth station is at the small chapel right next to the entrance of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Jerusalem Via Dolorosa 10st station the Church of the Holy Sepulchre
The 10th station is at the chapel on the right of the entrance of the church.

Jesus is stripped of his garments by Roman soldiers.

When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. And sitting down, they kept watch over him there.

Matthew 27:35-36

11th station: Jesus is nailed to the cross

The eleventh station is located in a chapel of the Church of Holy Sepulchre next to the tenth station.

Jerusalem Via Dolorosa 11th station
Go up to the right steps next to the entrance of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Francisco Martins

The fresco at the altar shows Jesus is just about to be crucified.

12th station: Jesus dies on the cross

The twelfth station is the point to be said that Jesus dies on the cross.

Jerusalem Via Dolorosa 12th station
The crucifixion icon at the twelfth staion Sek Keung Lo

You can find the point where the cross was raised.

13th station: Mary takes His corpse

Between the 11th and the 12th stations, there is the Stabat Mater alter.

Jerusalem Via Dolorosa 13th station
The alter of Stabat Mater James Emery

After coming back from the twelfth station, at the entrance of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where the bottom of the Golgotha (Calvary) was, there is the Stone of the Anointing.

14th station: His body is laid in the tomb

The last stop of Via Dolorosa is His tomb. The gravestone is put in a small chapel of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

This chapel is so tiny that there is always a long queue.

Jerusalem Via Dolorosa 14st station Jusus' tomb
The small chapel of Jesus’ tomb.

According to the Gospels, this place belonged to Joseph of Arimathea.

As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away.

Matthew 27:57-60