The Gethsemane garden is located near the Church of All Nations at the western base of the Mt of Olives in Jerusalem. It is a small grove of olive trees dating to Biblical times.
The garden is well maintained. In addition to the olive trees there are many bougainvilleas. Christian get very emoltional when visiting these beautiful gardens with the impressive views toward the Mount of Olives and the Old City of Jerusalem.
The Gardens are well kept to welcome all visitors
In Hebrew it is called Gat Shmanim
The Christian tradition says that this is the place where Judas hung himself from the branches of an olive tree after the betrayal of Jesus.
The location has been corroborated at the bottom of the Mount of Olives opposite the Temple Mount Jerusalem. In subsequent years many churches where built here on the site where it is believed that Jesus prayed during the night before his crucifixion.
The name means in Hebrew Gat Shmanim or oil press, is a suggestion that in the grove of olive trees an oil press was located. The area was totally covered with olive trees at that time. Now is mostly barren land due in part to the siege of Jerusalem led by Titus in 70 CE.
Olive trees as old as thousands of years
According to Josephus, Titus had every tree around Jerusalem cut down for a distance of 15 kilometers. The trees currently in the Gardens thus could not possibly be the same that would have been here during the time of Jesus.
It is possible; however, that one or more could have grown from a stump left by Titus. Though the exact location of the Gardens cannot be determined with certainty, Armenian, Greek, Latin, and Russian churches have accepted an olive grove on the western slope of the Mount of Olives as the authentic site.
This was so regarded by the empress Helena, mother of Constantine, the first Christian emperor on the early Fourth Century AD. An ancient tradition also locates the scene of the Gethsemane prayer and betrayal of Jesus at a place now called the Grotto of the Agony, near a bridge that crosses the Kidron Valley.
At another possible location, south of this site in a garden containing old olive trees is a Latin church erected by Franciscan monks on the ruins of a Fourth century church.
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