This photograph of the Cenacle, or Upper Room of the Last Supper, was taken from the rotunda of the Church of the Dormition. With the kind permission of Father Elias and the assistance of Lukas, a young volunteer worker from Cologne, I was able to access the top of the dome from which I could photograph much of Mount Zion.(The rotunda of the Dormition Church can be seen in the photo below to the right looming over the Cenacle like a protective parent.)
From the birds-eye view photo at the top, you can easily identify the Cenacle. It is delimited by Islamic structures on its roof built after the Ottoman takeover of the building in the 16th century. The minaret on the west end and the dome on the east mark the boundaries of the building. Note how other Ottoman-era buildings gradually sprang up to surround the Cenacle.
It was on the Cenacle’s north side, the foreground in the top photo, where the Byzantine and Crusader churches once stood. We are here in Jerusalem to research modern archaeological excavations that took place in this area. Quite a number of small digs were conducted in and around the Cenacle. Once we assemble the results of those investigations we will be closer to understanding where the Cenacle fit architecturally among those larger structures.
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