Gordon Tours Israel Blog

Standing on the Very Spot of Christ’s Ascension

Icon May 14, 2023
Icon By Shai Navon
Icon 0 comments

Jerusalem, the heart of the Holy Land, is the one place every Christian wants to visit. The churches, the historical sites – this is where you can trace the footsteps of Christ. But there is one site in Jerusalem that goes beyond that and allows you to see the footprint Christ left before he ascended to the Heavens.

The Chapel of the Ascension

The Chapel of the Ascension, located on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, is where Christ is believed to have ascended to heaven, leaving a mark on the ground. To commemorate this divine event, a chapel was built on the last place his feet touched the earth.

The Day of the Ascension, the fortieth day after Easter Sunday, is celebrated yearly in the chapel in true biblical form. Pilgrims from all over the world gather in the courtyard for a special liturgy, including hymns, prayers, Bible readings, and often a candle procession across the Mount of Olives.

From Darkness to Light

The history of this place is long and winding. Due to Roman persecution, Christians were pushed to worship Christ secretly, including in a cave near the Chapel of the Ascension. But all that changed when the Roman Empire adopted Christianity in the 4th century, and a church was built on the spot of the Ascension of Christ.

In the following centuries, this church was restructured, destroyed, and rebuilt by pilgrims and Crusaders. When Saladin took Jerusalem in 1187, parts of the chapel were renovated when it was turned into a mosque, but a few years later, Saladin ordered to leave the Chapel of the Ascension for Christian worshippers, and a new mosque was built for Muslims.

While the church has not survived, the chapel remains a main attraction for Christian pilgrims visiting Jerusalem almost 1000 years later.

Can’t wait to visit Israel?
Contact us or ask your travel agent about the Gordon Tours Israel experience!

Marking the Spot

The Crusaders’ chapel is a round Byzantine-era structure inside an enclosed courtyard, almost unscathed, built around the footprint left by Christ at the moment of the Ascension. Different Christian denominations mark a slightly different spot for the Ascension. A minute from the chapel stands a Russian Orthodox Church marking a different spot for the Ascension, and across the street is the Greek Orthodox Monastery of the Ascension.

After visiting the chapel, touring the Mount of Olives is also a must, as it is the place from which Jesus made his way into Jerusalem. The view of the Old Town of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives is beyond words.

Take a Moment to Breathe in the Spirituality

The Mount of Olives offers a one-of-a-kind panoramic view of the epicenter of the Old Testament world. This is a perfect moment to breathe it all in.

From the entrance, you have a majestic view of the western side of Jerusalem, while from the opposite side, to the east, you can see the Kidron Valley, Mount Scopus, and the Mount of Corruption, a sight that still evokes more ancient times.


The Wait is Over! 

Start planning your church group pilgrimage today

Now Booking 2024-2025 Dates

Book Now - Pay Later!

Limited dates available now
Revised and updated!


Everything you need to know about traveling to Israel