Where to go Guide
After the death and resurrection of Jesus, early Christians began gathering in secret at this site on the Mount of Olives to commemorate His ascension to heaven.
The site of the Chapel of the Ascension has gone through many transformations throughout its history. The first church on the site was built some time before 392 AD by Poimenia, a wealthy Roman woman. It was later destroyed in 614 AD during the Persian invasion, and then restored again by Modestus.
The present octagonal form dates back to the restoration by the Crusaders in 1102, when several alterations were made to the site. After the fall of Jerusalem in 1187, the site was abandoned and Salah Eddin entrusted it to two sheikhs, al-Salih Wali al-Din and Abu Hasan al-Hakari, and the chapel was converted into a mosque. Soon after, because most of the pilgrims to the site were Christian, a compromise was made and a second mosque was built close by for Muslim worshippers and the main chapel left open for Christian visitors.
Today custody of the site is still under the control of the Islamic Waqf of Jerusalem. The actual Crusader Chapel which guests visit today preserves the main features of the Crusader building.