Yesterday's post was about the celebration of the dormition of Mary. The outside of the Dormition Abbey on Mount Zion looks like this.
When Kaiser Wilhelm II visited the Holy Land in 1898 the Turkish sultan presented him with this piece of land. The German Benedictines then built this church, finished in 1910.
The massive towers give it a look of a medieval fortress. And indeed, whenever I see it I start humming Martin Luther's famous hymn "Ein' feste Burg ist unser Gott," "A Mighty Fortress is Our God."
Israelis come to concerts in the church for its fantastic acoustics and wonderful organ, one of the largest in the Middle East.
The image below is taken from the website of Balamand University and Monastery in Lebanon; the icon's full story can be found there.
"Who is the little baby being held by Jesus? It's a depiction of Mary's soul, small because it is only her first day in Heaven." - [Italics are mine!]