The austere Lutheran Church of the Redeemer was built in the Christian Quarter of Jerusalem in 1869.
History of the Church of the Redeemer
The Church of the Redeemer was commissioned by Prussian Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm, who was given the east half of the Muristan by the Sultan during a visit to Jerusalem in 1869.
The church was built in the northeast corner of the Muristan over the Church of St. Mary of the Latins, which had been constructed by the weathy Amalfi merchants c.1050 and had fallen into disrepair. An even earlier church may have stood here from the 5th century. The old cloisters, refectory, and original plan of the medieval church are preserved in the new church.
The Church of the Redeemer (Erlöserkirche) was consecrated on October 31, 1898, in the presence of Emperor William II and the Empress Augusta Victoria (daughter of England's Queen Victoria).
What to See at the Church of the Redeemer
One of the most interesting features of the church is the original sculpture on the medieval northern gate, which was the principal Benedictine entrance of St. Mary of the Latins. The door is decorated with the signs of the Zodiac and well-worn symbols of the months.
The symbol of January is at the bottom left and at the top center are a sun (a half-figure with a disc above his head) and moon (a female with a crescent) beween June and July. August, a thresher, is in the best shape; October is a man with a cask. The lively figures are reminiscent of the sculptures on the facade of the neighboring Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
The modern entrance to the neo-Romanesque church is on the west from Frederick William Street. The church houses four Lutheran congregations speaking four different languages: Arabic, German, English, and Danish. The 12th-century cloisters, with two tiers of galleries, and refectory are on the south side of the church and entered from the same street.
You can climb 177 steps up the bell tower, the tallest in the vicinity, for a fine view over the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and as far as the Mount of Olives and Mount Zion.
Quick Facts on the Church of the Redeemer
|Names:||Church of the Redeemer|
|Visitor and Contact Information|
|Coordinates:||31.777769° N, 35.230429° E|
|Lodging:||View hotels near the Church of the Redeemer|
- Kay Prag, Blue Guide to Israel and the Palestinian Territories (Black and Norton, 2002), 185.
- Jerome Murphy-O'Connor, Oxford Archaeological Guides: The Holy Land (Oxford, 1998), 105.
- Daniel Jacobs, Mini Rough Guide to Jerusalem (Rough Guides, 1999), 52-53.
- Eyewitness Travel Guide to Jerusalem and the Holy Land (DK, 2002), 94.
- The Lutheran Church of the Redeemer (PDF)
Map of the Church of the Redeemer, Jerusalem
Below is a location map and aerial view of the Church of the Redeemer. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.