An ancient Christian tradition says that Mary, the mother of Jesus, fell into an eternal sleep and was taken into heaven from her tomb. The second century manuscript, "Transitus Mariae" records legends of her funeral. The tomb itself dates back to the first century, and several Christian churches have been built, destroyed and rebuilt on this site. The present facade is from the Crusader period. A wide staircase descends 50 steps to the dark crypt. Along its sides are tombs of Queen Melisende (d. 1161) and a chapel dedicated to Anna and Joachim, the parents of Mary.
Attractions & Landmarks, Religious