Garo Nalbandian

Crowded by red-roofed stone buildings on all sides, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre can be identified by its prominent domes. The larger dome covers the aedicule, Jesus’ tomb; the small brown dome stands over the intersection of the transept and the nave. Now located in the heart of the Christian Quarter of the Old City, the church seems an unlikely location for Jesus’ tomb. This was true in the fourth century as well, when the site, even then within the city walls, was identified to Queen Helena as the place of Jesus’ burial. The unlikely location of the site pointed out to Helena supports its authenticity, as does the fact that the site was outside the city walls during the first third of the first century, the time of Jesus’ burial.