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The Christian Quarter (Hebrew: הרובע הנוצרי Ha'Rova Ha'Notzrí, Arabic: حارة النصارى Harat al-Nasarí) is one of the four quarters of the ancient, walled Old City of Jerusalem, the other three being the Jewish Quarter, the Muslim Quarter and the Armenian Quarter. The Christian Quarter is situated in the northwestern corner of the Old City, extending from the New Gate in the north, along the western wall of the Old City as far as the Jaffa Gate, along the Jaffa Gate - Western Wall route in the south, bordering on the Jewish and Armenian Quarters, as far as the Damascus Gate in the east, where it borders on the Muslim Quarter. The Christian quarter contains about 40 Christian holy places. Among them is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, one of Christianity's holiest places.
The Christian quarter was built around the Church of the Holy Sepulchre which is the heart of the quarter. Around the church there are other churches and monasteries. In general the quarter contains few houses, which are mostly concentrated in the southern-eastern part of the quarter near Jericho Gate. It contains mostly religious tourists and educational buildings, such as the Lutheran school and St. Pierre school.
Christian buildings stand on much of the quarter. Besides the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which occupies most of the land, the Patriarchate of the Greek Orthodox, the Franciscan monastery, San Salvatore and the Latin Patriarchate take up large areas as well.
The quarter also contains souvenir shops, coffee houses, restaurants and hotels. The shops are mostly concentrated in the market street, David Street, and along the Christian Road. Some of the hotels (such as the Casa Nova hotel and the Greek Catholic hotel) were built by the churches as places for visitors to stay. Others are private hotels.
The quarter also contains some small museums (such as the museum of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate). In the southwest part of the quarter there is a pool called Hezkiyahu's Pool that was used to store rain water for the area.
In the 19th century, European countries aimed to expand their influence in Jerusalem and so began constructing several structures in the Christian quarter. The Ottoman authorities attempted to halt European influence and established rules for buying land in the area. But personal interventions from the heads of those countries (such as Wilhelm II of Germany and Franz Joseph of Austria) led to construction of some buildings for those countries' religious authorities.
At the end of the 19th century, there were no further free lands for development in the Christian Quarter. In the same period, the Suez Canal had just opened and many Christians travelled to the Holy Land. This led to intensified competition between the European powers for presentation and influence in Jerusalem. France built hospitals, a monastery, and hostels for visitors outside the Old City adjacent to the Christian quarter - an area which became known as the French area. Even before them, the Russians located themselves in the nearby Russian Compound.
There was a natural desire for easy travel between the Christian Quarter and the new development, but at the time the Old City walls formed a barrier and travellers were forced to take an indirect path through either Jaffa Gate or Nablus Gate. In 1898, the Ottomans accepted the request of the European countries and breached a new gate in the Old City walls, in the area of the new development. The gate was called "The New Gate".
- Church of the Holy Sepulchre/Church of the Resurrection
- Lutheran Church of the Redeemer
- Church of John the Baptist
- Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
- Church of the Savior
- Greek Monastery
- Deir El-Sultan
- San Salvatore Monastery
- Mosque of Omar
- El-Khanka Mosque
Media related to Christian quarter (Jerusalem) at Wikimedia Commons