A peace of Vatican in the center of Jerusalem

Notre Dame cathedral is the right place for pilgrims who cannot subsist solely on spiritual sustenance and architectural delights.

January 9, 2011 12:49
1 minute read.
Notre Dame in Jerusalem

notredam. (photo credit: courtesy)


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If you’re in the market for some Christian-themed Jerusalem sightseeing this weekend, the options are unlimited, especially if Catholic churches with vaulted ceilings and magnificent iconography are up your alley. Because of its status as an international hub of spirituality and religion, it often seems as if the city hosts embassies or headquarters for every single sect, denomination and faction on the face of the globe, and this is doubly the case where Christianity is concerned.

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If the endless possibilities of places to see don’t deter you, we recommend that you find the time to integrate the magnificent Pontifical Institute Notre Dame into your day. The towering French cathedral is conveniently located between the eastern and western parts of Jerusalem, within short walking distance of the bustling city center. It boasts a majestic knave and combines classical and modernist architecture with a touch of eastern motifs thrown in for good measure. And if you’re not in the habit of subsisting solely on spiritual sustenance and architectural delights (read: in the mood for a yummy lunch), you’re also in luck, as the acclaimed La Rotisserie restaurant is on the premises and always ready to dish out delicious fare to discerning visitors.

But the best thing Notre Dame has going for it has got to be its lofty standing in Rome. As Director Father Juan María Solana tells us, the campus was a personal project of the Vatican, which turned the compound into the Holy See’s official center for pilgrims in Jerusalem. Pope John Paul VI, who personally oversaw the restoration work, considered the finished knave a “holy place,” and held an interfaith meeting there during his visit to Jerusalem in 2000, forever imbuing Notre Dame with a spirit of piety and reconciliation.

For more information about this and other Jerusalem attractions, visit www.iTravelJerusalem.com

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