Jerusalem: The “Christian Information Center” Offers a New Multimedia Itinerary

July 13, 2022

The Christian Information Center (CIC), which has been welcoming and guiding pilgrims to Jerusalem since 1973 under the direction of the Custody of the Holy Land, has just equipped itself with a multimedia itinerary designed as a historical, biblical, and urbanistic introduction. The official opening of the new rooms, delayed for two years by the Covid-19 pandemic and the vagaries of the construction work, took place on July 2, 2022.

Located opposite Jaffa Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem, the center provides information on Christianity in the Holy Land, including shrines and holy places, churches in the area, liturgy, aspects of religious and cultural life.

Introduction to the rich religious and urban history of Jerusalem, the multimedia itinerary is divided into six thematic rooms, in order to offer visitors an overview of the city and the Holy Sepulcher in less than an hour, explains Brother Tomasz Dubiel, Franciscan and director of the Christian Information Center.

In addition, thanks to virtual reality glasses, the latest technology, visitors find themselves immersed for a few minutes in the Jerusalem of the last days of Jesus. From the Mount of Olives to Golgotha, passing by the Herodian fortress of Antonia, virtual reality gives an overview of the city at that time.

The Christian Information Center’s New Multimedia Itinerary

The succession of six rooms also allows the pilgrim to better understand the history of the Holy Sepulcher. The first room, with its 3D map of Jerusalem, topographically presents the places where Jesus spent His last days. In the second, virtual reality headsets offer the possibility of seeing what these places looked like.

In room 3, a film shows, without dwelling on the details, the major stages in the history of the region and the development of Christianity; projected in a comfortable room, it has the merit of giving temporal landmarks. In the next room, we discover the history of the Holy Sepulcher and its architectural evolutions with a 3D projection.

The fifth room is devoted to the explanation of the status quo, this set of rules which has fixed the distribution and management of holy places between the different Christian Churches since 1852. The last room presents a model of Christ’s tomb and shows what the Holy Sepulcher means for Christians. Finally, access to the roof terrace allows you to admire a magnificent panorama of the old city of Jerusalem.

The Franciscans of the Custody have contributed to the project: the content is translated into thirteen languages, including Arabic, Hebrew, Croatian, and Chinese. “The service of the Christian Information Center is a service of concrete evangelization,” underlined the Custos of the Holy Land, Brother Francesco Patton, during the blessing of the premises in 2018.

“In the apostolic exhortation Nobis in Animo, Paul VI speaks of pilgrimage to the Holy Land, recalling that there is not only a history of salvation, but also a geography of salvation. The service of the CIC facilitates the encounter with the holy places and this geography of salvation.”