Read the passage carefully.
1. For four days, I walked through the narrow lanes of the old
city, enjoying the romance of being in a city where history still
lives − in its cobblestone streets and in its
people riding asses, carrying vine leaves and palm as they once
did during the time of Christ.
2. This is Jerusalem, home to the sacred sites of Christianity,
Islam and Judaism. This is the place that houses the church of
the Holy Sepulchre, the place where Jesus was finally laid to
rest. This is also the site of Christ's crucifixion, burial and
3. Built by the Roman Emperor Constantine at the site of an
earlier temple to Aphrodite, it is the most venerated Christian
shrine in the world. And justifiably so. Here, within the church,
are the last five stations of the cross, the 10th
station where Jesus was stripped of his clothes, the
11th where he was nailed to the cross, the
12th where he died on the cross, the 13th
where the body was removed from the cross, and the
14th, his tomb.
4. For all this weighty tradition, the approach and entrance to
the church is nondescript. You have to ask for directions. Even
to the devout Christian pilgrims walking along the Via Dolorosa
− the Way of Sorrows −
first nine stations look clueless. Then a courtyard appears,
hemmed in by other buildings and a doorway to one side. This
leads to a vast area of huge stone architecture.
5. Immediately inside the entrance is your first stop. It's the
stone of anointing: this is the place, according to Greek
tradition, where Christ was removed from the cross. The Roman
Catholics, however, believe it to be the spot where Jesus' body
was prepared for burial by Joseph.
6. What happened next? Jesus was buried. He was taken to a place
outside the city of Jerusalem where other graves existed and
there, he was buried in a cave. However, all that is long gone,
destroyed by continued attacks and rebuilding; what remains is
the massive − and impressive
− Rotunda (a round building with a dome) that
Emperor Constantine built. Under this, and right in the centre of
the Rotunda, is the structure that contains the Holy Sepulchre.
7. "How do you know that this is Jesus' tomb?" I asked one of the
pilgrims standing next to me. He was clueless, more interested,
like the rest of them, in the novelty of it all and in
photographing it, than in its history or tradition.
8. At the start of the first century, the place was a disused
quarry outside the city walls. According to the gospels, Jesus'
crucifixion occurred 'at a place outside the city walls with
graves nearby ......'. Archaeologists have discovered tombs from
that era, so the site is compatible with the biblical period.
9. The structure at the site is a marble tomb built over the
original burial chamber. It has two rooms, and you enter four at
a time into the first of these, the Chapel of the Angel. Here the
angel is supposed to have sat on a stone to recount Christ's
resurrection. A low door made of white marble, party worn away by
pilgrims' hands, leads to a smaller chamber inside. This is the
'room of the tomb', the place where Jesus was buried.
10. We entered in a single file. On my right was a large marble
slab that covered the original rock bench on which the body of
Jesus was laid. A woman knelt and prayed. Her eyes were wet with
tears. She pressed her face against the slab to hide them, but it
only made it worse.
On the basis of your understanding of this passage answer the
following questions with the help of the given options:
(a) How does Jerusalem still retain the charm of the ancient
(i) There are narrow lanes.
(ii) Roads are paved with cobblestones.
(iii) People can be seen riding asses.
(iv) All of the above
(b) Holy Sepulchre is sacred to
(iv) Both (i) and (iii)
(c) Why does one have to constantly ask for directions to the
(i) Its lanes are narrow.
(ii) Entrance to the church is nondescript.
(iii) People are not tourist-friendly.
(iv) Everyone is lost in enjoying the romance of the place.
(d) Where was Jesus buried?
(i) In a cave
(ii) At a place outside the city
(iii) In the Holy Sepulchre
(iv) Both (i) and (ii)
Answer the following questions briefly:
(e) What is the Greek belief about the 'stone of anointing'?
(f) Why did Emperor Constantine build the Rotunda?
(g) What is the general attitude of the pilgrims?
(h) How is the site compatible with the biblical period?
(i) Why did the pilgrims enter the 'room of the tomb' in a single
(j) Why did 'a woman' try to hid
a) (iv) All of the above
b) (i) Christianity
c) (ii) Entrance to the church is nondescript.
d) (iv) Both (i) and (ii)
e) According to the Greek belief, the stone of anointing is a place
where Christ was removed from the cross.
f) Emperor Constantine built Rotunda to safeguard the Holy
Sepulchre and the remaining structure around it.
g) Pilgrims have a very casual attitude and completely unaware
about the history and tradition. They are more into capturing
pictures and appreciating the novelty of the church.
h) According to the gospels, Jesus' Crucifixion occurred 'at a
place outside the city walls with graves nearby...' and as the
archaeologists have discovered tombs from the biblical era, the
site is compatible.
i) 'Room of the tomb' is a very small place, hence the pilgrims
entered in a single file.
j) The woman knelt down to pray looking at the large marble slab
and wanted to hide her tears as she became very sentimental.