CNB&C, Bologna/Courtesy of Robert Ousterhout

A circle of columns encompasses the Church of the Holy Sepulchre—in Bologna, Italy—part of a complex of churches dedicated to Saint Stephen. Designed by Crusaders returning from the Holy Land after 1099, the early-12th-century Italian church was inspired by the Jerusalem church of the same name, which, according to tradition, contained the holy Tomb of Jesus. The re-creation of the Jerusalem church in Italy was not simply a display of architectural skill. The builders hoped to introduce to Italy not only the design of the Jerusalem church but also the sanctity of the holiest site in Christianity. Medieval visitors to the Bologna church believed they would receive the same blessings that they would gain through a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Modern visitors are assured of receiving a clearer picture of the early architecture and decoration of the Jerusalem original.