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Easter Sunday at Jerusalem

Source: The Illustrated London News, May 5, 1855

The usual fighting among the Latin and Greek pilgrims took place at Jerusalem on Easter Sunday, and Turkish soldiers had to be stationed within the Holy Sepulchre to preserve order. The Duke and Duchess de Brabant and several travellers who were at Jerusalem received the extraordinary privilege of visiting the Mosque of Omer, the site of the Temple, which the Mahometans hold to be so sacred that until this occasion all Christians were most rigorously excluded from it. The Pacha of Jerusalem, to protect the visitors from annoyance, had all the guards of the Temple and the Mahometan devotees who reside there put under arrest during the time of their visit. One fanatic, however, escaped from custody and signified his disapprobation of the sacrilege by loud shrieks. The mosque is a most gorgeous edifice, built in the octagon form, covered with coloured tiles, and the dome bears marks of having been gilt. In the centre is a large rock, which is railed in, and considered very holy, and underneath there is a chamber where they show the tombs of Soloman, Elias, and Abraham. The number of Christians who went in was very large; they were all very orderly, and seemed much impressed with the holiness of the ground on which they stood—Letter from Constantinople.