Queen Helen Coptic Church (Holy Sepulchre Cistern) – Jerusalem

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Background: The Queen Helen Coptic Orthodox Church is located adjacent to (behind) the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, near the 8th station. It houses a vast underground cistern that was discovered by Queen Helen and provided water to the Sepulchre.

Impressions: This church wasn’t found in any of my tour books.. I was just lucky enough to stumble upon it when I was walk around the Old City. In the front is a photograph of a giant cave and so I poked my head into the church. Only one orthodox priest and a local were there, and I walked around a bit, trying to find the entrance to the cistern. I walked past a small room, which turned out to be a bathroom, and stuck my head into a long dark tunnel, into which I couldn’t see more than 2 feet before me. When I asked the priest he turned on the light and I walked down farther into what became a huge open lake. The acoustics were amazing. It’s hard to see from the photos but the black was all water. It’s cool that something this big is hiding in the Old City, unknown to a lot of people.


~ by jonathanmtsai on June 14, 2011.

One Response to “Queen Helen Coptic Church (Holy Sepulchre Cistern) – Jerusalem”

  1. hello,
    i knew of the church of S helena even though i have never been in the holy land. I wonder if you could help me. I am looking for liturgical hyms and poems that the ortodox church uses for the feast of S helena. I need them for some study i am doing on the saint.I cannot find any anywhere. My email is jgsdb@hotmail.com
    jesmond Grech

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