The Church of Mary Magdalene is one of Jerusalem’s main attractions on the Mount of Olives with its unique style. David Grimm created the design of the church in the traditional Russian style with tented roof that was popular in 16th and 17th century in Russia. It also includes seven golden onion domes that have been newly painted and glitter in the sun. With its beautifully carved towers combined with its various levels, the church truly looks enchanting.
In 1888, Tsar Alexander III built the Church of Mary Magdalene to give tribute to his mother, Empress Maria Alexandrovna of Russia. Along with Alexander’s mother are two remarkable people that were buried in the crypt, Grand Duchess Elizabeth who was killed in 1917 in the Russian Revolution and Princess Alice of Greece who protected the Jews during the Nazi occupation of Greece.
The Church is devoted to Mary Magdalene who is a follower of Jesus and regarded as his female companion. She is also known to be the only person who witnessed the three crucial events in the life of Jesus, which are Jesus’ crucifixion, burial, and his resurrection. For that reason, she is considered as a vital and significant disciple of Jesus.
The church stands in a serene garden. Inside the church is stunning orthodox icons and wall paintings. On the first story are classic Roman-style arches. On the second level, just above the main entrance is a gabled roof shaped with a genuine lace design. Surrounded in the gable, is an image of Mary Magdalene wearing a white robe in a circular blue mosaic, which is framed in gold. Decorated with scalloped windows and attractive arches are found on the third floor.
Built and decorated with an excellent structure, the Church of Mary Magdalene is absolutely a place to visit.
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