Garden of Gethsemane
The garden is located on the slopes of the mount of olives, right at the bottom a beautiful spacious olive tree concentration that used to be an oil press for Jerusalem olive oil production.
"Gathsemsene " translated from Hebrew as "Gat Shmanit" Matthew (26:36) and Mark (14:32) or simply an oil press, as an ordinary factory it was located outside the city to prevent any disruptions from the citizens and also the need for a big place to produce, this is not a surprise since the location is full with olive trees, therefore, it was the perfect location to build it here.
Jesus went to the Gethsemane garden to pray with his disples after the last supper in Jerusalem
"When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side, there was a garden, and he and his disciples went into it."(John 18:1).
The story is mentioned in the gospels and happened during the spring since the harvesting season of the olives is Autumn! it means that the factory was no longer functioning and obviously empty so Jesus could stay there as long as needed.
What is so important about the Gatshemene?
The garden is not only an oil press from the times of Jesus but also a symbolic and important place for Christians!
Jesus Prays on the Mount of Olives
Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt, and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.
When he returned he found his followers asleep after we warned them not to, and he met Judas Iscariot.
Judas was one of his best disciples who executed the dark plan, he kissed Jesus as a sign to “chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders” and the guards took Jesus to the house of the high priest and then to prison.
The church was erected during the 4th century around the "rock of agony" upon which Jesus prayed for the last time and called the lord, according to many external books this is the actual place of the event. later the Sassanids destroyed the church during the 6th century, the crusaders built again the church during the 12th century and the final construction was in 1924 by Antonio Berluzzi .
The inner part is unique, the architect made the church dark will barely a few raises of natural light coming in, the whole idea was to give us the visitor the feeling of the terrible last moments of Jesus suffering
The floor is one big mosaic carpet blending new mosaics but also old and covered with glass dated to the 4th century, the central part and the altar (the stone on which Jesus prayed) surrounded by a wrought iron shaped like the Crown of Thornes.
Outside the church, there is a big garden of old olive trees dated to the times of Jesus, and some trees are even supported by stones since they cannot stand themselves.
A visit to the Gethsemane garden is recommended to everybody, a truly unique piece of history and beauty maintained by the Franciscans, The church inside the garden called the church of all nations after big countries donating resources to construct the modern church.
The garden is open every day from 08:00, a very clean and neat place, a truly spiritual place for Christians to pray. just around the corner, there is the grotto of Gethsemane where Jesus' disciples found a place to hide during the arrival of the Romans.