The Church of Saint John the Baptist is located at 113 Christian Quarter Road in the Old City of Jerusalem. I have always wanted to visit the church but visiting hours were non-existent and it seemed that the church was always locked!$#@!
Much to my surprise the door to the sanctuary, on the far side of the courtyard was also open—so I walked in!
Aviva Bar–Am describes the interior of the church as “one of the most ornate in Jerusalem”—and it did not disappoint!
The current church was built sometime between the 8th and 11th centuries. Underneath of it is an older Byzantine Church that dates to the time of the Empress Eudocia— ca 5th century A.D.—it is not yet open to the public.
In the sanctuary a relic that is said to be a portion of the skull of John the Baptist is venerated. During the Crusader Period the Knights Hospitaler cared for the sick from this monastery/church. After the conquest of Jerusalem by the Muslims in 1187 — eventually the church was returned to the Greek Orthodox.
For a convenient description of this church see Bar–Am, Aviva. Beyond the Walls: Churches of Jerusalem. Jerusalem: Ahva Press, 1998, pp. 36–49.
For additional photos of the Church of Saint John the Baptist Click Here.