Kubbet Dirka, built by a nephew of Saladin in the thirteenth century. Extensive excavations
have been made by the German Government in the old home of the Hospitallers. The church
dedicated to the Virgin Mary, known as Maria Latina, the monastery of the same name, and
portions of the Hospice of the Knights of St. John, have been cleansed of the rubbish and
filth which encumbered them, and much of interest has been brought to light. The south
wall has a staircase attached to it which gives access to the cloisters, and to the old refectory
recently fitted up as a German Protestant Chapel at the private cost of the German Emperor.
The other buildings are being repaired or rebuilt as schools and other establishments for the
use of the German community at Jerusalem, and the Church of Maria Latina is to be restored
in the original style.
From the Bazaars, which lie immediately east of the old Hospice of the Knights of St.
John, a street runs directly to the Bab el Amud (Gate of the Column), commonly known as the
Damascus Gate (see page 41). This, the most picturesque of the city gateways, through which
passes the great road to Nablus and Damascus, is the work of Sultan Suleiman, and dates
from the sixteenth century. The gateway which preceded it was known in the twelfth century
as that of St. Stephen, from the Church of St. Stephen, which then stood a few yards distant
without the walls, on the place where the first Christian martyr is supposed to have been
stoned. The scene of St. Stephen's martyrdom is now shown on the east side of the city
without the present St. Stephen's Gate. The Damascus Gate is built over an older gateway,
possibly as old as the time of Hadrian, which can just be seen rising above the rubbish.
Flanking the gate are two towers built with stones taken from the ancient walls, and perhaps
resting on the foundations of the older walls of the city.
* The Bazaars stretch southwards from the Church of Maria Latina to David Street.
They are not remarkable for architectural beauty or for the value of the wares offered for
sale, but in the early morning they are filled with a busy throng amidst which representatives
of almost every nationality may be found. This is especially the case at Easter, when the
population of Jerusalem is for two or three weeks apparently doubled by the presence of
thousands of pilgrims, Christians and Moslems. For at this season Moslem devotees come
from all parts of the Turkish Empire and even from India to pray within the sacred enclosure
on Mount Moriah, the Haram esh Sherif, and to visit the reputed Tomb of Moses at the
north-west of the Dead Sea. Probably this pilgrimage was instituted to counterbalance the
great influx of Christians, especially of the Greek and Oriental Churches, who come from
all parts of Russia and Greece and from remote Turkish provinces, to attend the Easter
services in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (see page 22) and to bathe in the river Jordan.
This is the harvest time for the people of Jerusalem. Not only is every khan, convent, and
hotel crowded, but tents are pitched outside the walls, while in all available open spaces within
the city the poorer pilgrims make themselves at home, cooking their simple food in the open
air and resting at nieht under the stars. Men, women, and children, wrapped in their
* The following pages (to page 37), describing the Bazaars and Markets of Jerusalem, are contributed by Miss Mary Eliza Rogers.