"The inward parts had the largeness and form of a palace, it being parted into all kinds of rooms and other conveniences, such as courts, and places for bathing, and broad spaces for camp; insomuch that, by having all conveniences that cities wanted, it might seem to be composed of several cities, but by its magnificence it seemed a palace; and as the entire structure resembled that of a tower, it contained also four other distinct towers at its four corners; whereof the others were but 50 cubits high; whereas that which lay upon the south-east corner was 70 cubits high that from thence the whole temple might be viewed; but on the corner where it joined to the two cloisters of the temple, it had passages down to them both, through which the guard (for there always lay in this tower a Roman legion) went several ways among the cloisters with their arms, on the Jewish festivals, in order to watch the peeple, that they might not there attempt to make any innovations"
(Josephus Flavius, Jewish Wars).
To the North of the Temple esplanade of Jerusalem, where today the Christians commence their Way of the Cross, there are various ruins amongst which the famous arch of the "Ecce Homo" (behold the man), the pavement popularly called the "Lithostrotos", an underground pool and various other minor structures. These ruins are to be found to the North of the Via Dolorosa Road, both in the Franciscan property where the two medieval chapels of Flagellation and Condemnation stand together with the imposing building of the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum and mainly in the adjacent property of the Sisters of Sion. On the other hand, to the South of the same road there is a Moslem school where no excavations have been carried out yet.
As these ruins lie in the area where according to Josephus Flavius (Jewish Wars V, 238 and Jewish Antiquities) Herod the Great built the Antonia Tower, the scholars have asked two main questions: are there any structures in the said area which belonged to the Antonia Tower? The Praetorium where Jesus was judged, flogged and condemned to death is to be located in the Antonia Tower or elsewhere?
Secretariat office hours
Monday: 10:30am - 12:30pm
Tuesday: 10:30am - 12:30pm
Thursday: 10:30am - 12:30pm
N.B The office is closed from 1st July - 20th September.
Flagellation Monastery (Via Dolorosa)
Tel. +972-2-6270485 / 6270444;