The Church of the Holy Sepulcher is the holiest Christian site in the world. It is claimed that the building is located over the site where Jesus was crucified (Golgotha), where his tomb is situated (the Sepulchre) and from where he was resurrected. Christians have been paying pilgrimage to this holy site since the fourth century.
"At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden, a new tomb... and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there." (John 19:41-42)
About Film Permits for the Church
Today the site serves as the headquarters of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem but control of the building divided between different denominations, including the Greek Orthodox, the Armenian Orthodox and the (Latin) Roman Catholics, in addition to the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox, the Ethiopian Orthodox and the Syrian Orthodox.
In order to film in the church it is necessary to get permits from the three major denominations and Biblical Productions, very familiar with filming at this location, can obtain these on your behalf.
Filming at the Church of Holy Sepulcher
Immediately inside the entrance of the church lies the Stone of Unction. This commemorates the original stone which was used for the preparation of Jesus’ body prior to burial. This stone dates back to 1808 and was made to replace an earlier 12th century slab which was destroyed.
Close by the stone is a mosaic that depicts Christ’s preparation for burial. To the right of the entrance to the church there is a stairway that leads to Golgotha, the place where Jesus was crucified. There is a chapel here that features a mosaic of Jesus being nailed to the cross which dates back to the twelfth century.
The Greek Orthodox Calvary contains the actual Rock of Calvary. The rock is displayed in glass casing but does contain a hole allowing pilgrims to touch it. The rock still contains the slots cut for the crosses of Jesus and the two thieves.
A low doorway serves as the entrance to the tiny Chapel of the Holy Sepulcher, which contains the actual tomb of Christ.
A marble slab covers the place where Christ’s body was laid out and from which he rose from the dead
A focal point and famed image from the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, is the Rotunda. This round chapel which is topped by a large dome decorated with a 12 pointed star to represent each of the apostles. At the top of the dome is an opening where the light streams through with spectacular effect.
There are many other holy items and stunning locations to film within the building and from the exterior too. With our years of experience of filming at this key location in Israel we can recommend the best times to film, some great angles to shoot from, as well as suggest lighting and equipment needs.
We have excellent connections within the Church, which helps to expedite the process of obtaining a film permit and gaining full access to the site.
The Church of the Holy Sepulcher is considered to be a prime filming location in Israel and provides a fascinating place to shoot your documentary in Israel. It is familiar to Christians around world, who are always eager to find out more about this historic site and enjoy marveling at the amazing architecture, fantastic aura and religious significance of this unique, magnificent place.