Church of Ecce Homo

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The span of the Ecce Homo arch outside the church
View of sanctuary and dome of Ecce Homo Basilica

Church of Ecce Homo or Basilica of Ecce Homo, is a Roman Catholic church on Via Dolorosa in the Old City of Jerusalem, along the path that according to tradition Jesus walked, carrying his cross, on the way to his crucifixion. The church is now part of the Convent of the Sisters of Zion.

The Latin words Ecce Homo (i.e. Behold the Man) are attributed to Pontius Pilate in the Gospel of John 19:5, when he presented a scourged Jesus Christ, bound and crowned with thorns, to a hostile crowd. The New Testament also says that Jesus was dressed in fake royal attire, to mock the claim that he was "King of the Jews."[1]

The church contains one arch of a Roman gateway, which has a further arch crossing the Via Dolorosa outside. There was originally a third arch to the gateway, on the other side of the street; in the sixteenth century, it was incorporated into a monastery for Uzbek dervishes in the Order of the Golden Chain, but this was later demolished, taking the arch with it.

Traditionally, the arch was said to have been part of the gate of Herod's Antonia Fortress, which itself was alleged to be the location of Jesus' trial by Pontius Pilate; the traditional conclusion was that the arch was the location of Pontius Pilate's Ecce Homo speech, reported by the Bible.[2] However, due to archaeological investigation, it is now known that the arch is a triple-arched gateway, built by Hadrian, as an entrance to the eastern Forum of Aelia Capitolina;[3] the site of the forum was previously a large open-air pool of water (the Strouthion Pool).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ecce Homo
  2. ^ John 19.5
  3. ^ Pierre Benoit, The Antonia of Herod the Great, and the East Forum of Aelia Capitolina (1971)


  • Pontifical Institute: [1]
  • Fodors [2]

Coordinates: 31°46′49″N 35°14′00″E / 31.780332°N 35.233267°E / 31.780332; 35.233267