Biblical Archaeology Review 2:3, September 1976

The Evolution of a Church—Jerusalem's Holy Sepulchre

By J.-P. B. Ross

Father Charles Couäsnonwas already a practicing architect when he entered the Dominican Order of Preachers. Since 1954, he has been actively engaged in the restoration work of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, aimed at repairing the extensive damage caused to the church by fire in the 19th century and by earthquake in the 20th.

The repairs which were made after the devastating fire of 1808, certainly saved the church from becoming a ruin, but, equally certainly, they much disfigured the monument. The earthquake of 1927 seriously weakened the structure anew, and necessitated the dismantling and reconstruction of the twelfth century dome of the Katholicon in the Crusader Church. This earthquake also necessitated the buttressing of the southern facade (the present-day main entrance) with a steel scaffolding, which remained in unsightly position until 1972.

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