JERUSALEM — Renovations at Christianity’s holiest site — carried out over the past nine months — were finally unveiled Wednesday in a ceremony that brought together rival Christian denominations and ushered in a new era for pilgrims wanting to get closer to their savior.
Restoring the Holy Edicule, the chamber where Christians believe Jesus was buried and rose from the dead after his crucifixion, was no simple undertaking.
The shrine, which is thought to encase Jesus’ 2,000-year-old burial cave, stands at the heart of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, a 12th-century edifice built atop 4th-century remains.
Control of the sprawling church is shared by six Christian denominations.
In the case of the Edicule, renovations to the structure, built in 1810, were long overdue. Water damage had caused it to buckle, and it threatened to collapse under its own weight. Last year, Israel’s Antiquities Authority deemed the site unsafe and briefly closed the building, to much protest.