Jerusalem During the Roman and Byzantine Period

Take a tour of “ilia capitolina” – the idol-worshipping Jerusalem that followed the destruction of the Second Temple – and trace the process of Jerusalem’s sanctification for Christianity

“A Jew passed by Hadrian and inquired as to his wellbeing…”

-         Eichah (Lamentations) Rabbah 3


Where is the “spa” of Jerusalem, and what did Jesus do there? What game did Roman soldiers play during their free time? And… where do you shop in a Roman city? Discover all this and more in a tour of the streets of Roman and Byzantine Jerusalem.


After the Roman destruction of Jerusalem, it was actually the destroyers who rebuilt the city out of its ruins. Over time the Tenth Roman Legion, which had sacked Jewish Jerusalem, built an idol-worshipping Roman city named “ilia capitolina,” which even included a temple to the gods at the Temple Mount, where the Jewish temple had stood. During the fourth century of the Common Era, the Emperor Constantine declared Christianity a legal religion, and it later became the official religion of the empire. Jerusalem’s glory grew, and over the years grand and impressive churches were built in the city, alongside a carefully planned municipality.


We will tour the historic streets of Jerusalem, expose the ruins of the pagan city, and trace the process of Jerusalem’s transformation into a glorious Christian city.


The sites of the tour include Damascus Gate (Nablus Gate), Beit Hasda Pool, the Sisters of Zion Monastery, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and Hania Church.


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