Jerusalem Sights

Ecce Homo Convent of the Sisters of Zion

  • 41 Via Dolorosa Map It
  • Muslim Quarter
  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Published 05/04/2017

Fodor's Review

The arch that crosses the Via Dolorosa, just beyond Station II, and continues into the chapel of the adjacent convent, was once thought to have been the gate of Herod's Antonia fortress, perhaps the spot where the Roman governor Pontius Pilate presented Jesus to the crowd with the words "Ecce homo!" ("Behold, the man!"). Recent scholarship has determined otherwise: it was a triumphal arch built by the Roman emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD after his suppression of the second Jewish revolt and the dedication of a new Roman town, Aelia Capitolina, in place of Jerusalem.

The basement of the convent has several points of interest: an impressive reservoir with a barrel-vault roof, apparently built by Hadrian in the moat of Herod's older Antonia fortress; a tiny but attractive collection of ancient artifacts found on-site; and the famous lithostratos, or stone pavement, etched with games played by Roman legionnaires. The origin of one such diversion—the notorious

Game of the King—called for the execution of a mock king, a sequence tantalizingly reminiscent of the New Testament description of the treatment of Jesus by the Roman soldiers. Contrary to tradition, however, the pavement of large, foot-worn brown flagstones is apparently not from Jesus's day, but was laid down a century or two later. Allow 30 minutes for the visit.

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Sight Information

Address:

41 Via Dolorosa, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, 9762641, Israel

Map It

Phone:

02-627–7292

Sight Details:

  • NIS 9

Published 05/04/2017

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