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Coenaculum and King David Tomb, Jerusalem

The Room of the Last Supper called Coenaculum, The Cenacle, and the Upper Room, lies just outside the Dormition Abbey behind the Franciscan house on Sion. The whole area has been transformed by religious Jews into various Yeshivas (Schools of the Torah) especially due to the devotion for the Tomb of King David (pbuh) which is believed to be located beneath the Upper Room.

This place, sacred in Christian tradition, is believed to be the site of the Last Supper where Christ (pbuh) established the rite of the Eucharist. In the same place, seven weeks later, the Holy Ghost appeared to Mary and the Apostles at the Pentecost.

The Room of the Last Supper (Coenaculum)

Upon entering the Upper Room you find yourself in a large hall. The ceiling is supported by three pillars which divide the room into three naves. The pillars and the arches, windows and other Gothic style architectural elements are a clear indication the room was built by the Crusaders in the early XIV century, on top of a much older structure most probably pre-dating the first churches erected in Palestine. This old structure, according to the archaeological research, was a church-synagogue of the early Christian community of Jerusalem.

The Upper Room brings to mind the scene of momentuous events recounted in the Gospels: the institution of the Eucharist during the Last Supper, Jesus' appearance before the Apostles after his Resurrection and the descent of the Holy Spirit over the Apostles at Pentecost.

The last episode is commemorated in the Chapel of the Descent of the Holy Spirit, exactly above the room where King David's Tomb is venerated. After the Franciscan Friars' eviction, this room was transformed into a mosque, as evidenced by the mihrab (the niche indicating the direction of Mecca for prayers). The Arabic inscription prohibiting public prayer at the site, is still visible on the wall.

Tomb of King David (pbuh)

The cenotaph of King David (pbuh), on the ground floor, is, together with the Western Wall, one of the places most visited and venerated by people of Jewish faith.

The massive, grandiose stone sarcophagus, draped in a red cloth with the star of David on it, is surmonted by twenty-two crowns of the Torah in solid silver; they represent the sovereigns who, after David (pbuh), succeeded each other on the throne of Israel.

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