« ForrigeFortsæt »
GROTTO OF THE CONCEPTION.
it was taken from them by the Armenians, who have retained possession of it. It is decorated with several pictures of the Greek school and some very beautiful tapestry, and adorned by a great number of lamps.
3. The house of Simon, the Pharisee.
It was to this house that Mary Magdalen repaired, when she heard that Jesus was dining there, and, throwing herself at his feet, washed them with her tears, dried them with her hair, and anointed them with an ointment which she had brought with her.
4. The grotto of the Immaculate Conception, at a little distance from the house of Simon.
It is under an ancient church, formerly belonging, as well as the monastery, to a society of nuns. Nothing is left of it but ruins; the approach to it is horrible. One day I found very near it a camel, in a state of putrefaction, and a troop of dogs, fighting for the pieces of flesh, which they tore from it. The stench was so insupportable that I was obliged to turn back. It is an established practice in the towns and villages of the East, not to remove the bodies of animals from the places where they die : the infectious odour which they diffuse is of longer or shorter duration, according to the diligence used by the birds of prey and the dogs in devouring them.
I have already had occasion to lament with you the deplorable state of so many places at Jerusalem that are sacred for the Christians : that where our Lord was scourged; that where he sunk, for the third time, under the weight of the cross; and others. The Turks have turned them into receptacles of the most disgusting impurities.
PRISON OF ST. PETER.
5. The prison of St. Peter.
Here, apprehended by command of Herod Agrippa, the apostle was confined. To prevent his escape from that death which he was doomed to suffer in the
presence of the people, after the feast of the Passover, the tyrant caused him to be fastened with two iron chains, and placed over him a guard of sixteen soldiers-precautions which were frustrated by a miracle of the divine protection. The angel of the Lord descended in the night, awoke the servant of Christ, broke his chains, led him forth, and, having set him at liberty, disappeared.
This prison is a small room, half in ruin. It was once enclosed in a church, dedicated to the twelve apostles, of which a few fragments only are left.
6. The house of Mary, the mother of John Mark, where the Virgin Mary and many believers passed the night in prayer during Peter's imprisonment, and whither the apostle repaired after he had been delivered by the angel.
It is now a church, served by Syrian priests. 7. The ancient Christian hospital, built by St. Helena.
This hospital retains vestiges of the grandeur, the majesty, and the solidity, which characterize all the buildings erected by that illustrious princess. It now belongs to the Turks, who do not refuse admittance to foreigners. I visited it again the day before yesterday.
Formerly, all the Mussulmans who applied here were supplied, in honour of the prophet, with bread, pulse, and, on Friday, with rice; the dearth which has prevailed for some years has put an end to this charitable donation. Those whom curiosity draws hither are shown
POOL OF BETHSAIDA.
eight enormous copper cauldrons, which date from the time of the foundress. One of these cauldrons, of much larger dimensions than the seven others, bears her name. I measured and found it to be one hundred and thirtythree palms in circumference,
While walking about with my dragoman, at the farthest extremity of the hospital, we perceived a Turkish tomb of recent erection. We approached it, when two women, with dishevelled hair, one having a child in her arms, ran towards us, with frightful cries and threatening gestures, and asked by what right Christians dared thus come near a Mussulman tomb. I fancied that I saw two furies. Luckily, one of them knew my dragoman, and strove to pacify the other, who looked as though she would have torn us in pieces. Still more luckily, there was no Turk near us to witness the scene,
8. The Probatic, or sheep-pool, called in Hebrew Bethsaida.
This was the finest and largest in ancient Jerusalem. Here the sheep destined for sacrifice in the Temple were washed. It was surrounded by five galleries, for the reception of the sick of every sort who came thither in the hope of a cure.
“ An angel,” says the evangelist, “ went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water : whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in, was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.”
Here it was that Christ, seeing a man “ who had an infirmity thirty eight years,” lying on the ground, asked him if he wished to be made whole; and, on his reply
INTERIOR OF JERUSALEM.
that there was no one to put him into the pool when the water was troubled, he said to him : “Rise, take up thy bed and walk ;" which the impotent man instantly did.
This pool is about one hundred and fifty feet long and forty wide. It is separated from the precincts of the Temple by a thick wall only. It is now dry, partly filled up, and planted with flowers and fruit-trees. Some of the arcades are still to be seen. This is almost the only relic of the time of Solomon.
But little remains to be said, my dear friend, to give you a complete idea of Jerusalem. When once you are in it, that appearance of grandeur which strikes at a distance, that momentary illusion produced by the imposing aspect of the domes, the mosques, the minarets, overtopping the other buildings are all over; Jerusalem appears, to a greater degree than it is in reality, a city of rubbish and ruins. Its square houses, in general small, low, without external windows, covered with a flat terraced roof, above which sometimes rises a little rotunda, look like a heap of stones piled up for the purpose of building a dwelling, rather than a dwelling itself, and produce a most melancholy effect. What are called streets are nothing but narrow, dirty lanes, most offensively irregular throughout their whole length.
The best built quarter is that of the Armenians : some cleanliness is kept up there, and there is even a certain look of comfort, which only serves to make the other parts of the city appear the more hideous.
There are three principal streets in Jerusalem.
STREETS OF JERUSALEM.
which runs irregularly through the city from north to south;
The Via Dolorosa, Harat el Halam, still more irregular than the preceding. It commences at the gate of St. Stephen, passes before Pilate's house, and terminates at Calvary ;
The street of the Great Bazar, Souk el Kebiz.
The other streets are much smaller. Their names are :
The street of the Christians, Harat el Nassara, which leads from the Holy Sepulchre to the Latin convent of St. Saviour.
The street of the Turks, Harat el Muslemin.
The quarter of the Armenians, Harat el Asman, eastward of the tower of David.
The street of the Temple, Harat Bab Hotta.
The Public Quarter, Harat el Zahara, inhabited by persons of lewd life.
The quarter of the Tunisians, Harat el Maugrabé.
The number of these Tunisians is inconsiderable. It is asserted that they are descendants of the Moors expelled from Spain by Ferdinand and Isabella.
Lastly, the street of the Jews, Harat el Youd, where the slaughter-houses are situated. In this quarter, one of the dirtiest in the city, the Jews assemble for religious worship. My dragoman conducted me thither, and he assured me, by the way, that they are forbidden, on the severest penalties, and even on that of death itself, to pass the church of the Holy Sepulchre an assertion to which I could not possibly give credit.
Till the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, the Temple