Tomb of the Prophets Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi, Jerusalem

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Landmark Tourist Spot
The Tomb of the Prophets Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi is an ancient burial site located on the upper western slope of the Mount of Olives, Jerusalem. According to a medieval Jewish tradition also adopted by Christians, the catacomb is believed to be the burial place of Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi, the last three Hebrew Bible prophets who are believed to have lived during the 6th-5th centuries BC. Archaeologists have dated the three earliest burial chambers to the 1st century BC, thus contradicting the tradition.Burial chamberThe chamber forms two concentric passages containing 38 burial niches. The entrance to the large rock-cut burial cave is on the western side, where a staircase descends, flanked on both sides by a stone balustrade. It leads into a large circular central vault measuring 24 ft in diameter. From it, two parallel tunnels, 5 ft wide and 10 ft high, stretch some 20 yards through the rock. A third tunnel runs in another direction. They are all connected by cross galleries, the outer one of which measures 40 yards in length.Research shows that the complex actually dates from the 1st-century BCE, when these style of tombs came into use for Jewish burial. Some Greek inscriptions discovered at the site suggest the cave was re-used to bury foreign Christians during the 4th and 5th centuries CE. On one of the side walls of the vault, a Greek inscription translates: Put thy faith in God, Dometila: No human creature is immortal!Holy siteThe site has been venerated by the Jews since medieval times, and they often visited the site. In 1882, Archimandrite Antonine (Kapustin) acquired the location for the Russian Orthodox Church. He planned to build a church at the site, which aroused strong protests by the Jews who visited and worshipped at the cave. The Ottoman courts ruled in 1890 that the transaction was binding but the Russians agreed not to display Christian symbols or icons at the site which was to remain accessible for people of all faiths.
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  • Wow, that was unexpected. The place is hidden on the Mount of Olives and is easy to miss. But it's an experience like no other, even though it lasts only for 10 minutes. A walk inside a completely dar...  more »
  • We were actually on our way to visit the Chapel of the Ascension when we walked past a little sign that said Tomb of the Prophets, so we decided to check it out. The doorkeeper popped up, unlocked it ...  more »
  • It was past closing time, but luckily, we found the tombs' care taker who allowed us to visit the site. We descended a flight of steps where he handed each of us a candle. After lighting our candles a...  more »

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