February 2017

Terra Sancta Museum on the Via Dolorosa, because “no one knows about it”

Before I started working here I did not know anything about the Via Dolorosa, I didn’t even know what Convent of the Flagellation was…” Christine tells us. She is a 24 year old Christian from the Old City. She has been working for the Terra Sancta Museum for some few months now.

It’s true,” says Rozan, the other employee, “a few days ago I met a Christian lady who has lived here for 40 years. She asked me where the Way of the Cross was …‘ we’re on it! ‘, I said, but I also started to know about it when I came to work here.”

We talk for a while, waiting for today’s event: a presentation of the multimedia section of the museum to the tour operators in Jerusalem. Yes, “it is necessary to renew the invitation to everyone” Clara from the Association pro Terra Sancta tells us; she is head of management and promotion for the museum.

No one, not even the locals are aware of the history of this city and of the value of this street, the Via Dolorosa, on which thousands of pilgrims walk every day.

When the tour operators arrive the director, Fr. Eugenio Alliata, gives a short introduction of the place we are in. The show is 15 minutes long; it tells the story of Jerusalem and then that of the Via Dolorosa. “Beautiful,” one of the guides says at the end of the show, “I have seen many shows like this one, but this is truly remarkable”. Clara explains to them that this is only the first section of the museum, two more are under construction. “We have started to organize visits for schools in October” she adds. “As a matter of fact, the show is not only for pilgrims… Actually I would say that it is primarily for locals.” To date almost 20,000 visitors have come to see the museum, 509 of these are students, both Christians and Muslims.

While leaving the Convent of the flagellation, a boy rushes up pulling a cart along the Via Dolorosa, the “Way of the Cross” of Christ. It would be nice to stop him too and let him know about this piece of history that is also his.

Find out more about the Terra Sancta Museum!

share facebook twitter google pinterest print send
related stories

With Rozan and Dima at the Terra Sancta Museum (October 2017)

About those Muslim schools visiting the museum on the Via Dolorosa (November 2016)

Books, Bridges of Peace: cataloguing of 17th century collection completed (September 2016)

Terra Sancta Museum – Via Dolorosa: what do people say? (April 2016)

Discover the Via Dolorosa! (March 2016)

Terra Sancta Museum: Let the show begin! (March 2016)

Terra Sancta Museum, ceremony of laying the foundation stone by the Custos of the Holy Land (June 2015)

Museum of the Shroud of Turin: a preview of the Terra Sancta Museum (April 2015)

Terra Sancta Museum, Jerusalem (August 2014)

Jacopo and the medals of the Piccirillo collection: the story of a volunteer archaeologist in Jerusalem (May 2014)

The Project of the Terra Sancta Museum presented to the consuls of Jerusalem (March 2014)

Archaeological Museum Bulletin: September and october’s news (November 2013)

The history of Jerusalem’s ancient Franciscan pharmacy (October 2013)

The Treasure of the Holy Sepulchre returns to Jerusalem after the Versailles exhibition (August 2013)

Telling the Story of the Holy Land (July 2013)

A video about the ancient bells of the Bethlehem Treasure (June 2013)

May’s news from the Archaeological Museum (June 2013)

“A dream that we Franciscans hope to make a reality”: the Terra Sancta Museum presented to the public in Milan (May 2013)

Knowing one’s own history in order to invest in the future: the video interview with Father Pizzaballa about the Terra Sancta Museum (May 2013)

Presentation of the Terra Sancta Museum project in Milan (May 2013)