Church of the Holy Sepulchre

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is in the Old City of Jerusalem. Originally a group of separate churches in a single enclosure in the fourth century (starting in 325 C.E.), Emperor Constantine sought to turn it into an architectural monument.The Crusaders gave it its present form in 1149, combining its structures into one Romanesque church with a two-story facade. The interior has two principal sections: the rotunda – modelled on the Pantheon – which contains a shrine covering the tomb of Christ, and an Orthodox cathedral. Several Christian sects have appointed chapels and zealously guard their rights within the structure according to the Ottoman-era “Status Quo” agreement of 1852. The keys to the church have been kept by the Muslim Nusayba family for generations, so that no one Christian sect might control it.