Church of St. Anne and Pool of Bethesda, Jerusalem
This church, erected during the first half of the twelfth century, blends admirably traditional Romanesque features and the architectural principles followed at the time of the Crusades.
It is numbered among the longest preserved sacred places in the city, since according to tradition it arose over the place where once stood the house of Joachim and Anne, the parents of the Virgin, who is supposed to have been born here.
The interior has an aisled nave and exquisite capitals on the pillars sustaining the arches of the vault. A stairway leads down to the Crypt, held to be the birthplace of the Virgin.
The Pool of Bethesda is very close to the Church of St. Anne, near the Lions Gate. The imposing remains of a pool with two baths and five porches confirm the story told in the Gospel according to John. There was once a gate there called the Sheep Gate, near where a sheep market was held, and animals to be used in the city's sacrifices were washed in the pool. In this place Jesus (pbuh) performed the healing of a cripple (John, V 1-9).