Christian quarter

Christian Quarter | The Secret District From the Ancient City

The Old City of Jerusalem is enclosed by high walls within which four neighborhoods coexist: Muslim, Jewish, Christian, and Armenian. The four neighborhoods constitute the essence of Jerusalem. Four worlds are very different but contiguous, which cross over into each other without the limit of any actual physical barrier. At around 19 hectares, the Christian Quarter is significantly smaller than the Muslim Quarter. The district is located northwest of the city and is separated from the Armenian Quarter to the south by David Street. 

Christians have settled here since the 4th century, probably to be as close as possible to the Holy Sepulcher. This quarter, many sights are to be visited: the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Church of the Redeemer, the Church of St. John the Baptist, the Muristan, the Citadel, the Salvator Monastery, and the Latin, Greek Orthodox, and Greek Catholic Patriarchates.

Jerusalem is sacred to all Christians as it is the site of the passion, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jerusalem is mentioned more than 100 times in the New Testament. According to the Bible, Jesus was brought to the city shortly after his birth. Here he drove sacrificial animal dealers and money changers out of the temple, where the Lord’s Supper took place. Just outside the city (Golgotha), Jesus is said to have been crucified and buried. Today’s probable location is within the city walls ( Church of the Holy Sepulchre ). Christianity in Jerusalem includes Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Georgian Orthodox, Syrian Orthodox, and Greek Catholic. Old Catholic, Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican, Armenian and Ethiopian.

The Church of Redeemer

The German Evangelical Church is in the Christian Quarter of Jerusalem – in Muristan. It bears the beautiful name “Church of the Redeemer” and is located a few meters south of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The last part of the Via Dolorosa runs on the north side of the Church of the Redeemer, ending at the neighboring Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The Suq el-Lahhamin runs to the east, and the south is the provost and the Martin Luther School. To the west of the church is the unusual one for the old town.

Muristan Streets

The Muristan is a complex of streets and shops in the Christian Quarter in Jerusalem’s Old City. In this part of the Christian quarter, the first hospital of the ” Knights of St. John of the Hospital in Jerusalem (Johanniter)” was founded. With the conquest of the fortress of Akko on May 18, 1291, by the troops of the Egyptian Mamluk Sultan al-Malik al-Asraf Chalil, the Crusades had finally failed. The knights withdrew first to Cyprus (1291). Then to Rhodes (Greece). And after losing that island, they finally went to Malta (1530).

Since then, they have also been known as the Knights of Malta (Knights of Malta). Muristan comes from the Persian word “Bismaristan,” a hospital or insane asylum. In addition to the German Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, Muristan now includes the property of the Martin Luther School, the Lutheran hospice, and a few shops. It is bounded west by Christian Quarter Road on the south by David Street. On the east by Souk el-Lahhamin and on the north by Souk ed-Dabbagha. The Muristan Road divides the area into a western and an eastern area. Charlemagne already had the site as a gift from the caliph of Baghdad, the legendary one Harun al Rashid, preserved. Emperor – Wilhelm II of Prussia – had a pilgrim hospice built there.

Christian quarter

Representation of the Christian Quarter

You should also know about the Christian Quarter nowadays.

The Christian Quarter is the most beautiful and exciting neighborhood in the Old City of Jerusalem, although each area has charm. In contrast to the Muslim and Jewish communities, it is also the most accessible for travelers, as most of the neighborhood’s monuments, churches, and monasteries can be visited. The area is bordered by two of the busiest shopping streets in the Old City, David St. in the south and Habad St. in the east, and is accessible through the Jaffa Gate and Damascus Gate. 

The mythical Church of the Holy Sepulcher is undoubtedly the most famous corner of the area. Still, we recommend spending a whole day in the neighborhood and exploring some of its lesser-known corners:

  • Deir es-Sultan: a strange Ethiopian monastery on the roof of Saint Sepulcher.
  • Monastery of San Marcos: one of the oldest churches in the world and the site of the Last Supper according to the Syrian Orthodox tradition. 
  • The Coptic Patriarchate: little-known monastery with a huge old cistern in the basement. 
  • Church of San Juan Bautista: beautiful Greek Orthodox church of the 5th century.


The Muslim quarter is the largest and most densely populated in the Old City. It is the most chaotic, dirty, and busy area, but for this very reason, more lively and animated. Paradoxically, in the Arab quarter begins the Via Dolorosa. (The path of the Via Crucis ), full of shops crammed with souvenirs of various kinds. And religious objects: from olive wood cribs to plastic crucifixes.

Unmissable in the Christian quarter is Haram esh-Sharif – “enclosure of the noble sanctuary.” Or Temple Mount, better known as the Esplanade of the Mosques. It is a place of worship disputed by the three main monotheistic religions.

The Christian quarter nowadays is inserted into the walls of the old city of Jerusalem. And develops around the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher. The last stretch of the Via Crucis crosses its streets. And it rises where the place of Calvary was once located. Unlike the Arab quarter, the streets are tidier and more cared for. With numerous covered roads, there is an infinity of souvenir shops that look like authentic bazaars. With stalls ranging from religious icons to classic souvenir t-shirts. Up to a covered stretch specialized in selling food products, including the butchers’ market. Suggestive groups cross the last bit of the Via Dolorosa on a pilgrimage to the Holy Sepulcher, where the profane atmosphere that reigns in the streets suddenly disappears.