St. Stephen's Basilica, Jerusalem

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St. Stephen's Basilica
מנזר סנט אטיין
Jerusalem Saint Stephen church.JPG
Location Jerusalem
Country Disputed
Denomination Roman Catholic Church
Founded 5th Century (original church)
Founder(s) Aelia Eudocia (original church)
Consecrated 1900 (Dominican Basillica)

The St. Stephen's Basilica[1] (Hebrew: מנזר סנט אטיין‎) or simply the Church of St. Stephen,[2] also known by its French name, Saint-Étienne, is the name given to a Catholic church located outside the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem, on the road leading north to Nablus.[3][4] It is next to the convent of St. Stephen, home to the French Bible and Archaeology School (École biblique et archéologique française de Jérusalem), and the convent church. An old tradition sees this place as the place where the martyrdom of Saint Stephen took place, the martyr deacon mentioned in the book of Acts (Acts 7: 54-60). A rival site is located in the Kidron Valley.


The first time a sanctuary was built to commemorate the martyrdom was in the fifth century, when Empress Eudocia initiated the building of a structure on the site of the current basilica, a chapel dedicated to St. Stephen, where she was eventually buried.[citation needed] With the arrival of the Persians in 614 and the siege of Jerusalem that followed, the chapel was destroyed.[citation needed]

In 638, a small church was built by St. Sophronius, then restored and enlarged by the Crusaders, but later destroyed by themselves, lest they fall into the hands of Sultan Saladin.[citation needed]

In the nineteenth century the French Dominicans acquired the site of the ancient ruins of the Crusaders, and after archaeological excavations built the convent and the current basilica, which was consecrated in 1900.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mare, W. Harold (2002-05-22). The Archaeology of the Jerusalem Area. Wipf and Stock Publishers. ISBN 9781579109707. 
  2. ^ Dietz, Maribel (2010-11-01). Wandering Monks, Virgins, and Pilgrims: Ascetic Travel in the Mediterranean World, A. Penn State Press. ISBN 027104778X. 
  3. ^ Sebag Montefiore, Simon (2011-10-25). Jerusalem: The Biography. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. ISBN 9780307594488. 
  4. ^ Boas, Adrian J. (2001-09-06). Jerusalem in the Time of the Crusades: Society, Landscape and Art in the Holy City Under Frankish Rule. Routledge. ISBN 9781134582723. 
Internal view

Coordinates: 31°47′06″N 35°13′48″E / 31.7850°N 35.2300°E / 31.7850; 35.2300