Starting at the Lion's Gate, one of the seven original gates built by Suleiman the Magnificent in 1540, make your way along the Via Dolorosa or Way of the Sorrows that Jesus took on the last day of His life, on His way up to the Calvary or Golgotha. Learn about the 14 Stations on this traditional route, their story and their meaning. Finish the route with the last five Stations which are in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher itself and learn about the story and architecture of this unique place. 

Via Dolorosa and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher

Introduction.

Located within the Arab boy's school of El-Omariye, Station I of the Way of the Sorrows marks the moment when Jesus is tried by the Roman procurators. This is thought to be within the Antonia Fortress which was the seat of the Procurators during the three great Jewish festivals of the year (Pessach, Shavuot and Sukkot) when 100 000's of pilgrims would come to Jerusalem to the Temple Mount. 

Station II is directly accross the road from Station I. There are two chapels in this location. To your right as you enter is the Chapel of the Flagellation, formerly a Crusaders chapel, restored by Antonio Barluzzi in the early 20th c. This chapel commemorates the moment when Jesus is mocked by the Romans who tie Him to a pillar, whip Him and place a crown of thorns on His head. The chapel at the other end of the courtyard is also a Franciscan chapel and commemorates the moment when Jesus is given His cross to carry and starts His long walk toward the Calvary.

Stations III and IV are at the bottom of the road and to the left. They are adjacent to one another. Both are tradition and not based on the...
Station V is a station recorded in the scriptures. Here a man by the name of Simon of Cyrene is hailed by the Roman forces to assist Jesus in...
Station VI is a traditional one and marks the spot where a woman by the name of Veronica reached out from the crowd with a cloth to wipe the sweat...
By the time you reach Station VII you will undoubtedly have noticed that you have been going consistently uphill. Jesus was so exhausted that it is...
At this station, Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem. You see engraved in the stone at Station VIII the letters NIKA which mean "Jesus Christ...
At the Station IX, you are almost at the top of the hill and this marks the traditional spot where Jesus fell for the last time before reaching the...
This area is what is known as the Ethiopian Compound. Since the middle of the 17th c. a community of Abyssinian monks have been living here is...
The Church of the Holy Sepulcher is the holiest site for Christians of all denominations. It is composed of many chapels and is owned by six...
Reproductions from 150 years ago or more show the ladder in this exact location. Why? We don't really know but the reason it is still there is that...
This is one of the most important locations of the church. After climbing some rather steep steps, you reach Stations X through XIII. Station X is...
As you make your way down the steps, the first thing you will see is the extraordinary mosaic representing the scene from right to left,...
Aside from the Calvary upstairs, the aedicule is the other most important site in the world for Christians who will often line up for hours...
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Della Tours Israel
Tour Guide

Welcome, my name is Della.

I was born in Chicago. When I was 5 years old, my parents decided to move to France in search of a new life...(I suspect it's because my father was tired of shovelling the snow every winter)....We hopped on the ship, the "France" with the cat, the bird, and the VW Beetle. My parents' 5-year plan turned into....well, a lifetime; they never moved back. I did all my schooling in France, travelled extensively throughout Europe, married, had a gorgeous daughter Leah, and several careers: ballet dancer, Art History major, and small business owner come to mind.

In 2011, I too decided to look for a new life. I sold my business (I ran my own bookshop for almost 18 years), went volunteering with wildlife for 6 months and on my return, started wondering what I could do for the next 50 years. I came to the idea of living in Israel late in life. So, early in 2012, I packed up my stuff and took the "aliyah" flight out of Paris. I have not looked back.

I went back to school to become a Licensed Tour Guide and successfully passed all the Ministry of Tourism exams. Wow! What a ride! 

My life has not been a straight line and in hindsight, I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

I have many a story to tell. I still get excited by things. I still love to listen to other people's stories and I'm eager to share my knowledge and wonder of the miracle that is the land of Israel. And finally, in my view, while knowledge is important indeed, excellent and friendly service is the most important thing of all...

In Israel, guides come from all backgrounds and walks of life. This is what makes them so compelling. We all graduate from schools that offer the same program that enables us to pass the same rigorous Ministry of Tourism exams. So what determines your choice of a guide? You are going to spend a day, two days or even a week or more with your guide. You are going to create a rapport. You will want to "click" with your guide. Your guide will become your friend and is a window to the country. So, we guides want you to enjoy your experience to the fullest by bringing you our knowledge and our unique personality to make your visit the trip of a lifetime. 

A warm welcome to you!

Della

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