Monastery of St. Mary Magdalene (Gethsemane)
Israel, Jerusalem

The monastery of St. Mary Magdalene is located in Jerusalem on the Mount of Olives (Olives) in the Garden of Gethsemane. The main decoration of the monastery is the church of St. Mary Magdalene, built in an elegant Russian style. A plot of land for the construction of the temple on the western slope of the Mount of Olives was acquired by the Russian imperial family as a field of visit by the Grand Dukes Sergey and Pavel Alexandrovich of Jerusalem in 1881. The temple was erected in memory of Empress Maria Alexandrovna at the expense of Emperor Alexander III, his brothers and sisters. Construction lasted from 1885 to 1888 under the supervision of Archimandrite Antonin. The design of the church was compiled by architect David Grimm. In addition to him, Jerusalem (Konrad Schick and George Frangia) and Italian (Antonio Longodorno and John Baptist Biselli) architects participated in the design of the church. The main material for the construction of the church was the white-gray Jerusalem stone, while the finishing materials, wood and metal for construction were transported by sea from Russia. The temple covers an area of 192 square meters and reaches 30 meters in height. The construction is so solid that it was able to withstand minimal damage to the earthquake of 1927, which caused significant damage to Jerusalem. A distinctive feature of the temple are seven onion golden domes characteristic of Russian architecture of the Moscow style. Such famous artists as Vasily Vereshchagin, Sergey Ivanov, Alexey Korzukhin, Alexander Sokolov and many others participated in the writing of the icons and murals of the temple. The consecration of the church took place on October 1 (14), 1888 in the presence of the Grand Dukes Sergei Alexandrovich and Pavel Alexandrovich, as well as Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna, whose relics are still preserved in the church (the remains of Grand Duchess Elizaveta Fedorovna and nun Barbara, executed in 1918 by the Bolsheviks were delivered in January 1921 from Russia to Jerusalem and buried in the church of St. Mary Magdalene). Among the shrines of the temple are the icon of the Mother of God of Smolensk "Hodegetria", the icon of the Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Mary Magdalene, as well as a large painting on the altar by Sergey Ivanov, "Mary Magdalene before the Roman Emperor Tiberius." In 1936, a female Orthodox community was founded in the church. In 1988, the Gethsemane community was elevated to the rank of a monastery on the occasion of the centenary of the consecration of the church.

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Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem
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