Outside, on the Old City's Christian Quarter Road, are the souvenir T-shirts and all the hustle and bustle of the Arab bazaar and of passing tourist groups.
But if you pay attention to this door within a gate, and if you have the courage to step through, you will be entering a secret other world.
The quiet courtyard feels ancient, quiet, and mysterious.
It is the Greek Orthodox monastery and Church of Prodromos [the Forerunner], also called the Church of St. John the Baptist.
Its 5th century crypt is the oldest surviving church building in Jerusalem.
.The upper story was destroyed by the Persians in 614.
It was rebuilt by St. John the Almoner, Patriarch of Alexandria, and later, in the 11th century, by Italian merchants from Amalfi.
Only the the small bell tower and the present facade of the upper story are modern.
In 1099 many Crusader knights who were wounded during the siege of Jerusalem were cared for in this church.
After their recovery some of the grateful knights dedicated themselves to helping the sick and protecting pilgrims to the Holy Land.
Calling themselves the Knights of the Hospital of St. John, they later developed into the military order of the Hospitallers.
More information at Sacred Destinations.
This post is for inSPIREd Sunday and That's MyWorld.
I'm glad you came through the doorway!