Beautiful, but hard to find inspiration with noisy crowds
Summary : The Church is a must see even for those who are non-religious. Be prepared to queue to see certain parts of the church, althugh it's generally not to bad. Remember to observe holy days and Sundays which may affect the ability to view the church
The place that marks the Crucifixion and burial site of Jesus is of course a must see on any itinerary to Jerusalem.
The church itself is beautiful. Upon entry a staircase to the immediate right takes you up to the site of Golgotha. Here you can place your hand on the site where the cross stood. Sometimes there is a queue and sometimes not. We found lunch seemed to be the best time to go, with fewer people. Down the stairs sits the anointing stone where the body of Jesus was laid to be anointed before burial. The third area is the tomb of Christ, although there is some debate over whether the tomb was here or further out in the garden tomb outside the current walls of the old city. If you don’t want to go inside you can take photos without queuing, otherwise you can wait any time from about half an hour to two hours.
Sadly most tourists seem to forget they are standing in a holy place, when shouting across the church at each other and we frequently had to request that people show respect so if you are after quiet reflection time and divine guidance this may not be the place! Mostly this seemed a problem with large tour groups, so I think the guides need to take more responsibility.
However you definitely are left with a feeling of awe in one of the most holy places on earth.