The Church of All Nations, also known as the Basilica of the Agony is located in the Garden of Gethsemane — according to tradition it stands on the very spot where Jesus Christ stood and prayed prior to his arrest.
Contrast of light and dark, violet-colored stained-glass artworks, flickering candles and hanging vigil lights — everything is used to recreate the ambience of the night spent by the Savior in the Garden of Gethsemane. Despite the fact that the church was built in the twenties of the last century, it rests on earlier foundations. Before the 14th
century there stood a Crusader chapel, which in its turn was built on the site of a 4th
-century Byzantine basilica, destroyed by an earthquake in 746.
The church was built by a Franciscan order and initially was affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church, the fundraising for its construction was made by Christians across the world. The coat-of-arms of twelve of the countries from which donations to Jerusalem originated are incorporated into the ceiling: United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Belgium, USA, Canada, Chile, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina.
The side murals are adorned with large mosaics, representing the beginning of the Agony of Christ: The Gethsemane prayer, the betrayal kiss of Judas and the Taking of Christ into Custody.
Remains of the ancient Byzantine mosaic floor are to be seen in the Church of All Nations. These magnificent fragments as well as a column of the same period were found during the construction works in 1920. Following this discovery, excavations of the earlier church were started. After the remains of the Byzantine-era church were fully excavated, architect Antonio Barluzzi altered plans for the new church. The construction was finished in 1924.
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