Notes on the Geography of Jerusalem: The Church of the Holy Sepulcher: Photo 1
The only functioning entrance is on the south side of the church--and half of it has been walled shut since the 12th century. Change comes very slowly here, especially since the Ottoman Sultan Abd al-Majid I declared in 1852 that no change could be made in any part of the church that was shared by the Greek Orthodox, Latin (the local name for Catholic), and Armenian communities without their unanimous consent. The common ground includes this courtyard and the entrance, where, for lack of unanimity, nothing has been changed since 1852. That includes the famous ladder under the right-hand window. The original long ago rotted but was replaced.
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