Anyone seeing these magnificent churches gleaming and flashing in the spring sunlight would wonder what happened to the grim garden depicted in Mel Gibson’s Passion. This is the facade of the Church of All Nations, and above it bloom the golden onion domes of the Church of Mary Magdalene. I would have loved to have visited that, but it was closed. It would have made a nice trifecta for that morning if I had, the church of St Anne, the tomb of our Lady and the church of Mary Magdalene. What a wonderful trio of powerful Ladies!
I found some different spellings of Gethsemani, and a surprising number of sites in the Garden, but first I had to get in. I walked round to the front to enter by the broad and magnificent plaza in front of the Church of All Nations, only to find it barred. I should have known to take the steep and narrow gate should I? The entry is by the side..but from the front I did get a great panorama of Jerusalem, of the barricaded Eastern Gate. This is the gate from which the Messiah is to enter Jerusalem, so some Turkish or Arab conqueror built it in, and created a muslim graveyard before it. Or perhaps to prevent entry to the Temple Mount, an ancient traffic diversion – they’d never heard of witche’s hat!