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The Holy Land: Jerusalem
  Among the many holy sites in Palestine connected with the life of Jesus, Jerusalem was to become a major centre for Christian pilgrims, with an established circuit of sites, numerous churches, shrines, relics, hospices, and thousands of visitors. Its most important church was the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, built by Constantine I between 326 and 335, on the traditional site of the crucifixion and burial of Jesus. The monumental complex lay between the cardo and Christian's Street, in the north-west quarter of the city. It comprised an atrium, a basilica, a second colonnaded atrium (also known as the Holy Garden), and the Anastasis (Resurrection) rotunda, aligned east to west. Three entrances lead from the atrium into the basilica. The latter had four rows of columns and a large apse pointing west, towards the Sepulcher, rather than east, as it was customary in later churches. The Anastasis rotunda was a semi-circular covered structure (diam. 35 m) with three apses. In its centre, a circle of twelwe columns in groups of three each, alternating with four pairs of square piers, surrounded the Sepulcher. The Sepulcher itself was marked by a hewn rock, surmounted by an edicule, in which oil lamps burned day and night. The oil from these lamps was believed to have miraculous healing capacities and was collected in small lead flascs (ampullae), in order to be sold to the worshipers. In the south-east corner of the colonnaded atrium stood the rock of Golgotha, enclosed in a small structure supported by four piers.
  Constantine also donated a church on the Olive Mount, east of Jerusalem. Several other churches were erected in the fifth century, among them the Church of Holy Zion on Mount Zion, and the Church of the Ascension on the Olive Mount. Empress Eudocia invested considerable funds in the city's development from the early 440s until her death in 460. A martyrium for St Stephen, and an extension of the city wall on Mount Zion, were constructed at her behest. Under Justinian, building projects such as the Nea (New) Church and the continuation of the cardo were undertaken. The Nea, a vast basilica dedicated to the Virgin, was inaugurated in 543. The actual remains of the church measure roughly a hundred meters in length and fifty two meters in width, making it the largest known basilica in Palestine. According to Prokopios, the church was surrounded by porticoes and preceded by a large colonnaded atrium, a circular courtyard and a gate. Other litterary sources mention a monastery, a hostel, a hospital and a library, and excavations have revealed a large water reservoir under the church foundations. The Nea was indeed a complex of monumental proportions, the execution of which was entrusted to Theodoros an architect from Constantinople.

See also: Urban Planning; Pilgrimage centres