St. Peter in Gallicantu

 

 

Today was a very relaxing day, as befits the sabbath.  After attending LDS services at the Jerusalem Center, we drove over to the twentieth-century Catholic church of St. Peter in Gallicantu (roughly, “St. Peter while the cock was crowing”), which sits on the slope of Mt. Zion over the traditional site of the house of the high priest Caiaphas.

 

Dungeons beneath St. Peter in Gallicantu

 

There are serious experts who believe that the high priest’s house would have been higher up on the hill, but this house does happen to have some dungeons beneath it, which — I’m guessing — would not have been standard features in upper class dwellings of the time.  They seem to point to something official or quasi-official.  Perhaps Jesus was kept here.  Perhaps, too, after his resurrection, this is the place where Peter and the apostles were imprisoned for preaching the message of Jesus.

 

If this is Caiaphas’s house, then it’s the place where, according to the gospel of Luke, Peter denied Christ three times.

 

The ancient staircase on the northern side of St. Peter in Gallicantu

 

Another interesting feature of the site is a flight of stairs running up from the Kidron Valley directly to the north of the modern church.  They apparently date to the time of Christ, if not altogether to the earlier period of the Maccabees — which means that they could well be steps that Jesus himself ascended.  If this is Caiaphas’s house, he would have been brought across the Kidron from the Garden of Gethsemane after his arrest, and then, almost certainly, up these steps.  Even if this is not Caiaphas’s house, he would very likely have come this way, and probably would have gone down by these steps from the room of the Last Supper to Gethsemane in the first place.

 

After St. Peter in Gallicantu, we returned to our hotel.  (It’s very hot here.)  We rested, went out to dinner, talked, and relaxed.  A pleasant day.

 

Posted from Jerusalem, Israel.

 

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