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Account 1 (1106-07 CE)


The holy city of Jerusalem lies in arid valleys, in the midst of high rocky mountains. It is only on approaching the city that one sees, first, the Tower of David; then, advancing a little, the Mount of Olives, the Holy of Holies, the Church of the Resurrection, in which is the Holy Sepulchre; and, finally, the whole city. About a verst in front of Jerusalem there is a flattish mountain, upon reaching which every traveller dismounts, and, making the sign of the cross, adores the Holy Resurrection in sight of the city.


Every Christian is filled with an immense joy at sight of the holy city of Jerusalem; and tears are shed by the faithful. None can choose but weep when they see the places so ardently longed for, where Christ our God endured the Passion for the remission of our sins; and thus, full of this deep joy, the journey to Jerusalem is continued on foot.


To the left, near the road, there is tile church of the first Martyr, St. Stephen; it was at this place that he was stoned by the Jews; they show also his tomb here. Just here there is a flat rocky mountain which split up at the time of Christ’s crucifixion. The place is called ‘Gehenna,’ and is a stone’s throw from the city wall.


After that the pilgrims, full of joy, enter the holy city of Jerusalem through the gate near the house of David; this gate faces towards Bethlehem, and is called the Gate of Benjamin. On entering the city there is a road traversing it, which to the right leads to the Holy of Holies, and to the left to the Holy Resurrection containing the Holy Sepulchre.

Is the author a Christian or a Muslim?