Dominus Flevit

Like the Church of the Beatitudes of 1937-8 Dominus Flevit (the Lord wept) built in 1954-5 was designed specifically to gives views out. Here it is one partcular view, from the Mount of Olives to the temple, to commemorate when Jesus looked down and wept over Jerusalem. The focus of the view is now of course not the Temple but the Dome of the Rock.

It is built on the foundations of a fifth century church, a mosaic from which is preserved just to the left of the entrance. A Greek inscription records Simeon as the donor of the mosaic.

The Franciscans acquired the north part of the property in 1889 and built a chapel. When they acquired more land to the south during the Second World War they built a new chapel over the fifth century one. During building work a number of Jewish and Byzantine tombs were exposed, and a number of ossuaries are on display.

Barluzzi designed this small chapel to resemble a tear shaped shrine. It has four tear phials on top of the clasping buttresses at the four corners of the black dome. A large arch shades the clear glass window from glare, and a similarly scaled double curved arch roofs the entrance on the adjacent side. Ornamentation over the window includes the cup of tears and crown of thorns.

Inside the dome is quadripartite with a small oculus at the top.

The altar is at the west end of the church below the large window. It features a mosaic illustrating a hen gathering her chicks, based on the words of Jesus in Luke 13v34.



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