The sunbeam struck the roof: a journey of discovery in Jerusalem

Thursday 7 December 2017,
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking essential

Phone +44 (0)20 7323 8181
Ticket Desk in Great Court

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This journey of discovery began in 1977 when the Awqaf of Jerusalem, the Muslim custodial authority of the Haram al-Sharif, took the unusual step of inviting the speaker into the Haram in the middle of the night. During his night-time visit, by pure chance he turned to face west towards the Church of the Holy Sepulchre as the first beams of the rising sun of the new day came over the Mount of Olives. Not only did these sunbeams strike the roof of the Rotunda of the Church, they illuminated the tops of two nearby minarets. As architect to the British School of Archaeology between 1968 and 1975, and also in his spare time architect to the Armenians in the Church, Archie Walls knew these buildings very well, but never thought there could be an architectural relationship connecting them until this moment.

In this lecture, Dr Walls will present the architectural evidence for a direct and conscious relationship made in stone between these three monuments, and will draw an unconventional conclusion as to how this architectural connection should be interpreted.

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View of the Old City of Jerusalem from Hezekiah's Pool. Photo taken by Sergeant James MacDonald RE, 1864/5, from the Ordnance Survey of Jerusalem. PEF Archives P4327.