Church of Mary Magdalene

Christian Sites in Jerusalem

The Church of Mary Magdalene is a church located on the Mount of Olives, directly across the Kidron Valley from the Temple Mount and near the Garden of Gethsemane in Jerusalem. The church, dedicated to Mary Magdalene, is part of the Convent of St. Mary Magdalene, a sisterhood established in 1936 by an English convert. Since the 1920s has been under the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR); an independent ecclesiastical entity until 2007 and part of the Moscow-based Russian Orthodox Church since then.



The Construction of the Church of Mary Magdalene

So the church was built in 1888 by Tsar Alexander III and his brothers to honor their mother, Empress Maria Alexandrovna of Russia. In addition, it was constructed to David Grimm’s design in the traditional tented roof style popular in 16th- and 17th-century Russia. And includes seven distinctive, gilded onion domes. See photo above!

The church is dedicated to Mary Magdalene, the companion of Jesus. According to the sixteenth chapter of the Gospel of Mark, Mary Magdalene was the first to see Christ after his resurrection (Mark 16:9). Although equals, she is usually considered a crucial and important disciple of Jesus; seemingly his primary female associate, along with Mary of Bethany; whom some believe to have been the same woman.



The Intrior of the Church

So contrary to the impressive exterior of the church seen from afar, the interior is quite modest and decorated with simple wall paintings and minimal furniture. Four paintings of Maria Magdalena adorn the sides of the tower. Moreover, on the eastern façade wall of the church is depicted Mary Magdalene standing before the Roman emperor Tiberius with a red egg in her hands (Christian tradition tells that Mary Magdalene met the emperor and told him about Jesus and his miracles. But emperor did not believe it and then a miracle happened! The egg that Mary Magdalene brought him as a gift turned red).

The other three paintings depict Jesus meets Mary Magdalene in the town of Magdala on the Sea of Galilee; Mary Magdalene remains beside the cross. Last is Mary Magdalene is the first to meet Jesus after his resurrection. The paintings are the brainchild of the painter Alexander Ivanov, a great Russian painter of the 19th century. In fact, he was commissioned especially by Princess Elizabeth for the church. What is considered as the remains of Mary Magdalene can be seen in the relic box.



apt-stamp-white@2x
arik-about

Hi! My name is Arik Haglili, an Israeli native who decided to dedicate his life to share my knowledge about the Holy Land to those that are interested to know more about this amazing piece of land. My career as a private tour guide started at the International School For the Studying of the Holocaust and the rest is history. 

Did you know the Hoopoe is Israel's national bird?! For more cool info about Israel, join our ever growing community and get exclusive travel tips, and giveaways!

Simon Peter

RELATED POSTS

Samaria (Sebastia)

Ancient Samaria (Sebastia) the Captial of the Kingdom of Israel is rich with archaeological remains worth visiting.

Jordan Valley Ultimate Christian Sites

What are the Jordan Valley ultimate Christian sites worth exploring? Well, that's a very good question! Check out this post to know more!

Jaffa Clock Tower

The Jaffa Clock Tower stands in Yefet Street in Jaffa. The tower, built of limestone, incorporates two clocks and it's a key site in Jaffa.

Herod’s Royal Palaces in Jericho

Just outside of Jerusalem rests Herod’s Royal Palaces. The palaces are a great destination to go on a private tour! So let's go touring!

Apollonia National Park

Apollonia National Park is perched on the Mediterranean Sea. The crumbling ruins of this ancient city give way to a stunning tour!

Yotvata Hai-Bar Nature Reserve

Yotvata Hai-Bar Nature Reserve is a park that has restored once locally extinct animals back into the region. For nature lovers, it's a must!

Ramon Crater Nature Reserve

So let’s take a peek into the secrets of the desert by visiting Ramon Crater Nature Reserve. The Reserve is renowned for its makhtesh; a ...

Synagogue Church

The Synagogue Church is located in the market in Nazareth. According to Christian tradition, in this place, Jesus used to study and pray!

Yad La-Shiryon

Yad La-Shiryon is Israel’s official memorial site for fallen soldiers from the armored corps, as well as one of the most diverse tank museums! There ...

Rachel’s Tomb

Rachel's Tomb is identified as the site where Rachel was buried. Therefore it is considered a sacred place in the eyes of Jew; Christians and Muslims.

Need help?

Skip to content