New sunburst dome for the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.


On January 2, 1997, the rotunda of the dome of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem was unveiled following an extensive renovation. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is believed by many Christians to have been built on the exact crucifixion site and tomb of Jesus Christ.

While the design used for the rotunda is an obvious pagan sunburst, the stated theme of the design is declared to be that of the glory of God enveloping the risen Christ. It consists of 12 golden rays, said to represent the 12 Apostles. Each of the 12 rays is said to consist of 3 streams of light, symbolizing the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The background is the color of mother-of-pearl, said to be symbolic of the Biblical luminous cloud that accompanies the presence of God. Finally, on the perimeter of the rotunda is a field of 120 stars.

Far from depicting the risen Christ, this design is clearly a pagan sunburst, cleverly redefined in the guise of Christian terms. The gold cross on the top of the same dome also deserves mention. As you will see, it closely resembles a pagan sunwheel.

The Site of the Holy Sepulchre.
The Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.