The Byzantine Model of Jerusalem
Location - Next to Saint Peter in Gallicantu
Map Coordinates - 31.771573, 35.231640
Next to the Church of Saint Peter in Gallicantu, which our Octagon Tour groups can visit, there is a model of the city of Jerusalem as it appeared toward the end of the Byzantine era (approximately 600 AD), before its destruction by the Persians in 614. Seven churches are depicted in this model.
The city of Jerusalem underwent a turbulent history. One of the most violent events was the destruction of the city after two Jewish wars against the Romans, and the creation of a new city called Aelia Capitolina by the Roman Emperor, Hadrian. When the Roman Empire stopped persecuting Christians in the 4th century, they started building churches in memory of Christ.
The project creating a Byzantine Jerusalem model in 2003 AD was designed to remember these times. This reconstruction was intended to freeze a moment in Jerusalem’s religious history that lasted about three centuries.
On this model you can see just how large the original Holy Sepulcher complex was. It was about three times the size of the current Holy Sepulcher church. You can also see the massive Nea Church that no longer exists. Understandably, the Temple Mount was in ruins at this time.