1. The Starting Point of the Via DolorosaIt may be difficult to believe, but the starting point of Via Dolorosa, Jesus' Via Dolorosa, is the al-Umayriyah boys school. Here, according to Christian tradition, Jesus was judged.
In the 16th century it was decided that here was the Pretorium, the place of the trial of Christ in Antonia. Jesus was accused of conspiring against the kingdom, and here the Roman procurator Pontius Pilate judged him.
The al-Umayriya school for Arab children located on the southern side of the street is housed in a Mamluk madrasa, a 14th-century Muslim seminary. In the courtyard of the school you can still see part of the pavement of Via Dolorosa, which survived from the Crusader period.
Incidentally, the original steps which according to Christian tradition, Jesus ascended to the Pretorium, were sanctified and called "Scala santa," in English "Holy Step." They are not seen here, since they were uprooted in the 4th century and transferred to Rome, at the request of Helena, the mother of Emperor Constantine. To this day, they are preserved in the Church of Scala Santa, built in their honor in Rome.
Thus was described the trial of Jesus in the New Testament:
"Now Jesus stood before the governor, and he questioned him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You say so.” And when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he made no answer. Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they are testifying against you?” He did not answer him one word, so that the governor was greatly amazed."