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Capital from Church of the Repose

Capital from Church of the Repose

One of the three Crusader capitals embellishing the façade of the Bani Ghawanima minaret in the northwest corner of the Temple Mount. These three capitals, as well as a fourth one now in the Islamic Museum on the Temple Mount, were apparently part of a small Crusader chapel near the Temple Mount. They were salvaged from its ruins and reused in the present structure.

The chapel—the Church of the Repose—marked Jesus’ arrest prior to his being brought for trial before Pontius Pilate. A 13th-century account states- “It is said that this was the spot where Jesus rested when they brought him to be crucified.”

All the capitals portray the identical occurrence of Jesus’ immersion in the Jordan River, well known in Christian iconography. Jesus is seen sitting on stones, tended by two angels holding his clothes. This conventional motif may refer to another metaphorical theme—the description of Jesus at the time of his arrest, when he was “protected” by two angels.

The Bani Ghawanima minaret is an example of a particular architectural style developed in Jerusalem during the Crusader period. This is a bled of Oriental and Western art, whereby Crusader architectural motifs are introduced into Muslim structures.

Bahat, Dan, The Illustrated Atlas of Jerusalem. Jerusalem- Carta, 1996.

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