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The Second Golgotha Chapel

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Was Jesus Flogged Against This Pillar?

Location – Church of the Holy Sepulcher

Map Coordinates - 31.778460, 35.229556


We are generally given permission to see this chapel, and it’s a special treat for our Octagon Tour guests. This chapel is generally closed to the public, and available only by invitation. This chapel has, what the Armenians claim, is the original scourging post of Jesus.


The Second Golgotha Altar.


The main altar in this chapel was so named because in 1439 AD the Armenians were entirely deprived of having any custodial representation in the Chapel of Calvary (which now belongs to the Greek Orthodox Church). Therefore, calling this the chapel The Second Golgotha was compensation for the loss of these Armenian rights at the Calvary chapel.

 The Armenian altar celebrating the birth of Christ in the the Bethlehem cave.

The Armenian Genocide.


It is likely that, since 1922 AD, the name of this chapel has become a veiled reference to the Armenian Genocide of 1915/16 AD. Allow me to explain.


The 1922 book The Armenian Golgotha details the events of the Armenian Genocide, where the Turkish Ottoman empire attempted to physically annihilate the Armenian people. In fact, the word genocide was coined in direct reference to this atrocious act by the Ottoman Empire.


Victims of the Armenian Genocide in 1915.

In 1915 there were up to 1.5 million Armenians living in the multiethnic Ottoman Empire who were killed either in massacres or from systematic ill-treatment, exposure, disease or starvation.

Allegorically speaking, I believe that it is proper for the Armenians to call this genocide The Second Golgotha, because the Armenians were targeted, in part, because of their religious beliefs. In addition, tens of thousands of Armenian children were forcibly removed from their families and converted to Islam.


The Scourging Post.


In this chapel there is an altar displaying what the Armenians believe is the Pillar of the Flagellation to which Jesus was tied and tortured. A more famous version of this relic can also be found in the Franciscan Chapel of the Apparition in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.


The scourging post in the Armenian Second Golgotha Chapel.

There are two differences between the Franciscan column and the Armenian column. The Franciscan column is made of a stone called red porphyry, which comes from Egypt. The Armenian column is limestone, which is indigenous to almost everywhere, including Jerusalem. Secondly, the Franciscan column has a long, well-documented history, with the first sighting of this column being in 333 AD by an anonymous pilgrim from Bordeaux, France who claims that he saw this column in the Upper Room. (Source: The Bordeaux Pilgrim, Itinerarium Burdigalense.). In contrast, the Armenian column has virtually no history at all.

A wooden semantron. Hammers and red sound-defeating headphones can be seen as well.

In this chapel there is a wooden semantron that the monks use to strike repeatedly during moments when the monks in their fellowship are called to prayer, worship, or to begin some type of procession.

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