The Garden of Gethsemane in Jerusalem, located at the valley between Mount Moriah (aka the Temple
Mount) and Mount Olives is one of the most important sites in Jerusalem for Christians. According to
the gospels, Jesus spent much time in Gethsemane with his disciples and Gethsemane is also the site
where Jesus prayed in agony and anguish on the night of his arrest by the Roman soldiers.
Gethsemane is still adorned with ancient olive trees, some of which date back to the times of Jesus. A
small portion of the Garden is kept and groomed by the custodians of the Church of All Nations.
Gethsemane is Hebrew and Aramaic for “oil press”, as Gethsemane had historically been used for the
manufacturing olive oil.
An open altar inside the Garden is used by almost all denominations of the Christian faith, among them:
Roman Catholic, Evangelical, Protestant, Lutheran, Anglican, Eastern Orthodox and Armenian Apostolic.
CHURCH OF ALL NATIONS - THE GETHSEMANE CHURCH
The Church of All Nations in Jerusalem, officially named the “Basilica of Agony”, is situated on the lower
slopes of the Mount of Olives adjacent to Gethsemane Garden. The Church of All Nations enshrines the
bedrock believed to be where Jesus prayed in agony on the night of his arrest.
The church received its later name – “Church of All Nations” because of the 12 countries who
contributed to the establishment of the church. The construction of the Church of All Nations was
completed in 1924. The church is the third shrine that was built in the Garden of Gethsemane
commemorating the Prayer of Agony of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem.
The roof of the church is comprised of twelve small domes which represent Jesus and the twelve
apostles. The seal of each country which contributed to the erection of the church can be seen in the
domes as well.
A gorgeous mosaic greets all who enter the Church of All Nations. The mosaic depicts the story of Jesus
Nearby is also the ‘Cave of Betrayal” or “Cave of the Apostles” where it is believed the disciples fell
asleep as Jesus prayed.
Also located nearby is “Mary’s Tomb” – the site believed to be where the Virgin Mary is buried.
During the construction of the Gethsemane Church in Jerusalem, portions of a mosaic floor dating back
to the Byzantine era (4th Century) was discovered. The mosaic is protected of under glass and can be
seen in the southern aisle floor.
CHURCH OF ALL NATIONS - AMBIANCE AND STORY OF GETHSEMANE
The architect of the Church of All Nations, Antonio Barluzzi, aimed to convey the sorrow and night
ambiance of the agony of Jesus in Gethsemane before He was arrested. The ceiling of the church is
resembles the night sky with its many stars and olive tree branches conveying the feeling of seeing the
night sky through the olive trees of Gethsemane. The alabaster windows allow little daylight to seep
through, making the ambiance even more somber.