The Garden Tomb

Two places are considered as possible locations for Jesus’ tomb. One is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the traditional site for centuries, as we discussed in last week’s post:
The other site is the Garden Tomb.

Approximately two hundred years ago some Christians began to look for a possible location that reflected more of the details mentioned in the Gospel accounts. Archaeological studies of the area led them to discover the Garden Tomb in 1867. It drew their attention for the following reasons:

Located outside the city walls along a roadway, the Garden Tomb was originally an agricultural garden where grapes were grown. A wine press was excavated at the site. (The Olive Garden or Gethsemane was also an agricultural garden where olives were grown and pressed.) Additional discoveries led many to conclude this was the site.

Channel in front of Tomb

Garden Tomb Details:
• Skull Hill or Golgotha (Aramaic for Skull) is nearby
• Located outside the walls of the Old City
• Near a gate along a major street
(Roman executions occurred beside major roads)
• A Roman spike used to seal the tomb remains embedded
in the rock face
• An ancient cistern and wine press identify site as a garden
• The tomb belonged to a rich man and was only used once
• The entrance inside the tomb is low
(Jesus’ disciples had to stoop to enter)
• A deep channel runs in front of the tomb
for a large round stone to seal the entrance
• Garden Tomb website:

Travel Tips for The Garden Tomb:
• Open for tours and worship services:
Monday – Saturday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
• Closed for Lunch during the Winter
• Groups must book their visit in advance
• Wheelchair access is good for the general tour,
but not to enter the tomb
• Wear non-slip comfortable walking shoes,
the ground is uneven

Surrounded by beautiful flowers and greenery, the Garden Tomb provides plenty of seating to enjoy quiet reflection. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is richly ornamented inside, lighted with candles, and infused with incense.

Each location has its own unique beauty. Neither can prove beyond doubt it is the place of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. However, we don’t worship the place. We worship Jesus.

Until next time . . . Travel Light,
© 2017 SuZan Klassen

3 thoughts on “The Garden Tomb

    1. Hmm. It was in the rock, not in Jesus’ body. The hypothesis is that it was driven through the round stone and into the face of the tomb to seal it with Pilate’s seal. My thought is that when the stone was rolled away, the spike was sheered off, leaving a piece of it in the rock as confirmation. I guess I considered that amazing rather than creepy–the obvious power it would have taken to do that.

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