At the base of the Mount of Olives lies the site believed by Eastern Christians to be the final resting place of the Virgin Mary. Her tomb there, embedded in rock, commemorates Mary’s Assumption and ascension into heaven. Following a dark, winding staircase down to the burial site, the walls are decorated with historic art depicting Mary, the mother of Jesus. In the crypt itself, hanging lamps and burning candles and incense create a low lit, peaceful atmosphere.
Tradition states that her body was received on the third day following her death, leaving her tomb empty. Traditions following her death here are said to taken place since the 2nd and 3rd centuries. The church that sits above is believed to have been built around the time of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, making it one of the oldest near-complete religious buildings in Jerusalem.
The tomb is open Monday to Saturday from 6 am to noon and from 2:30 to 5 pm. The closest gate from the Old City of Jerusalem is Lion’s Gate.