Jesus prison in Jerusalem - Via Dolorosa



Walking down Via Dolorosa Street in Old City Jerusalem, you'll notice an ordinary-looking entrance to a tiny Greek Orthodox church.
You may not immediately understand what this location is associated with, but on a private tour of Jerusalem, you will be told about this location, which is mentioned in the gospels. The prison of Jesus, or rather Pretoria, is also part of the building near Pontius Pilate's residence, where the convicts were waiting for a meeting with him.

It was in this prison that Jesus was imprisoned, along with a criminal named Barabbas, as he is described. The Greek denomination founded the modest church at the beginning of the 20th century. The church appears to be divided into three sections. The lower floors of the church are divided into two tiers and extend 6 meters below ground level. Going a little lower, you'll find yourself on the first tier of the prison, which was in this location. On the first tier, there were some rooms in the shape of cells for the prisoners and not large rooms for the guards.


Going down the second tier, along a spiral staircase, you will pass a relatively large room where more prisoners were kept. On the second level, there is one surviving chamber in the form of a deep pit, which was thought to be where the condemned Barabbas (Hebrew Bar-Aba) was kept. The pit itself is surrounded by bars, but people throw coins into it for reasons we don't understand. The dungeon of Barabbas was used as a separate cell, but the entire second-level room was used as a common cell for all prisoners, and this should be stressed to you by the individual guide in Israel who will accompany you.


After that, climb the spiral staircase to Pretorium, turn right, and you will see a narrow passage carved into the rock that leads to Jesus' prison, or rather to the cell where he was kept. You can see what Jesus' shackles looked like at the time in Jesus's prison cell in Jerusalem. These shackles were not only used on Jesus but also on many other prisoners.


The shackles of the time are a stone slab with two knocked-out holes through which the legs protrude and are held in place by chains below. It's a cruel conclusion! After leaving Jesus' cell, you will be able to see the church's third and more modern section. As your Israeli guide, I will warn you that taking photographs or filming videos inside the Jesus Prison church is not permitted, but if you are caught doing so, it is not the end of the world.




The Church of the Holy Sepulcher is another location associated with Jesus' prison. This location is significant because it was used to house criminals sentenced to death. During Jesus' time, the location was nothing more than a cave at the foot of Mount Golgotha, where you can find Jesus' cross in Jerusalem. Criminals were temporarily housed in the dungeon, where the verdict was read aloud to them before being taken directly to the place of execution. So, is it the real place? We have no idea! In this dungeon, Jesus was also imprisoned, and his legs were bound in shackles that resembled two holes into which they inserted their legs and tied them from below. Unfortunately, I do not have a photograph of this location because restoration has been ongoing for a long time and it is unknown when it will be completed. As I previously stated, to restore something in the temple, all denominations that serve in the temple must agree, which can be difficult.




Under the church, there is a chapel. Caves that could have been part of a Byzantine basilica can be seen below. Christians engraved crosses dating back to the 5th century on these walls. Listed below are several caves from the Second Temple period. Because this location is thought to be Caiaphas' palace, it is possible that Jesus was imprisoned in one of these underground rooms.



Where was Jesus when he was arrested?


The arrest of Jesus is mentioned in the canonical gospels, after a night prayer outside the city walls, Jesus was met by judas his favorite disciple, kissed and marked, and then he was caught by Temple guards of the Sanhedrin and carried to prison by Roman soldiers.


The event was held in the garden of Gethsemane.


In the Scripture, what crime did Barabbas commit?


Barabbas had been charged with treason against Rome, the same crime for which Jesus had also been found guilty. The punishment was death by crucifixion.



When it comes to pilgrims, visiting Jesus' prison in Jerusalem on Individual tours in Israel is a must-do after the mount of olives. If you are interested in seeing more places related to Jesus, you can adjust the route with your guide in Israel. During the excursion to the holy Christian sites, you may request anything.