Ethiopian monastery on Holy Sepulchre - Jerusalem


Holy Sepulchre is a cathedral inside the city, not a building defined and separated from the surrounding houses, but 'inside' the buildings, without a clear separation between walls. Golgotha ​​is not a hill, but a depression: it is there that Jesus was crucified.
Above this vault of rough rock there are ruins, caves, chapels on different levels, Orthodox and Catholic praying in different places, at the same time, a stopped time, where life has won death, forever.
It is a continuous ups and downs, with high vaults, arches of candelabra that descend from above, flickering flames and the scent of incense, a continuous song. Above the large arches, the roof of the tomb is a small square, here architecture changes, after the stairs you discover another geography, following the thread of rituals and prayers from all continents.
The most humble and poor place is right above the holy sepulcher, it is the monastery of Ethiopian monks. Maybe they are up there because the poorest are closest to heaven.... One of them feeds the cats, it seems to be in Africa, other monks are sitting praying or resting in the semi-hidden courtyards surrounding the square, while four of them smiling at me. Their bell tower are four old bells hanging in a holes of the wall.
Here there is the whole world concentrated in one place, a reality where all contradictions, sumptuousness, poverty, differences are embraced, where people are united by something that is indefinite, I could only feel it, with my heart exploding in the chest.











Ethiopian monastery in Jerusalem, above the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
March 2022.
Pictures taken with Sony Alpha 7iii and Nikon D800 cameras.


I am not a relegious person, but I really like this photography set. Thank you for sharing.


I have read that you become amazed how the Ethiopian monks appeared in the holly church of Jerusalem. In your way to justify the reason for their existence in the holy place of Jerusalem, you have stated that "Maybe they are up there because the poorest are closest to heaven...."

Really that funny!!! I'm not denying that Ethiopians are poor. But one thing that you and rest of the world should know is that they are rich enough as long as religious aspects are concerned. As part of my comment here, i don't want to write you more But only few things just to let you know.

The Ethiopian Orthodox has two churches in Jerusalem. These churches are called "Deir Sultan" and "Kidane Mehirt".

The first one Deir Sultan is in the Old City, which is located on the roof of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This is the one which you have visited. The other one is "Kidan Mehiret" (Covenant of Mercy), part of the Monastery of Sanctuary, located in the modern city.

Generally, the reality is the Ethiopian Orthodox Church has been in Jerusalem for more than 1500 years. The monks are there not because they are poor but to serve and worship God; the almighty in the churches which they constructed many many years back.

I will be back with my own article soon. Thank you