Holy Sepulchre is a cathedral inside the city, not a building defined and separated from the surrounding houses, but 'inside' the buildings, without a clear separation between walls. Golgotha is not a hill, but a depression: it is there that Jesus was crucified.
Above this vault of rough rock there are ruins, caves, chapels on different levels, Orthodox and Catholic praying in different places, at the same time, a stopped time, where life has won death, forever.
It is a continuous ups and downs, with high vaults, arches of candelabra that descend from above, flickering flames and the scent of incense, a continuous song. Above the large arches, the roof of the tomb is a small square, here architecture changes, after the stairs you discover another geography, following the thread of rituals and prayers from all continents.
The most humble and poor place is right above the holy sepulcher, it is the monastery of Ethiopian monks. Maybe they are up there because the poorest are closest to heaven.... One of them feeds the cats, it seems to be in Africa, other monks are sitting praying or resting in the semi-hidden courtyards surrounding the square, while four of them smiling at me. Their bell tower are four old bells hanging in a holes of the wall.
Here there is the whole world concentrated in one place, a reality where all contradictions, sumptuousness, poverty, differences are embraced, where people are united by something that is indefinite, I could only feel it, with my heart exploding in the chest.
Ethiopian monastery in Jerusalem, above the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Pictures taken with Sony Alpha 7iii and Nikon D800 cameras.