In the 18th century, French traveler Le Sieur Turpetin described the 12th century St. James Armenian Cathedral of Jerusalem as “one of the most beautiful churches in Levant” while British author W.H. Bartlett proclaimed it “one of the most sumptuous in the East and in many ways a repository of Armenian art.” Two centuries later, novelist-essayist Aldous Huxley wrote: “The great church glows like a dim religious merry-go-round. In all of Jerusalem it was the only oasis of cheerfulness.”
Visitors from far and wide are drawn to this wonderland of historic, spiritual and artistic marvels secluded behind the gates of the Armenian Quarter. Here is a mini-tour of the priceless gems contained in what some consider the centerpiece of Armenian Jerusalem’s national inheritance.