Turkish Jerusalem (1516-1917)
4.1 INSCRIPTIONS OF SULTAN SÜLEYMAN (1520-1566)
INSCRIPTIONS FROM THE COENACULUM
Coenaculum is located outside the city walls, near the David’s Gate. There are 3 Ottoman Inscriptions in Coenaculum, Van Berchem recorded only one (nr. 1) inscription. Inscription 43 was published by Al-‘Arif in 1961 (p.504). The other inscription (nr. 53) was not published earlier.
Coenaculum Floor East Wall
Catalogue Berchem Size =lines Date
Coenaculum is the place where Jesus Christus is supposed to have had his last meal with his apostles, it is also next to tradition the place where Prophet David has been buried and is therefore known also as Maqam Nebi Da’ud a very holy place indeed. When Ottomans captured the city, this was in possession of Franciscans brothers. The Jews of Jerusalem have helped the Muslims to capture this place from the Franciscans and drive them out form the Mount Zion. The Portuguese Pantaleo de Aveiro tells us about the events10: The Convent of Mount Zion is now being held by the Turkish Cadis of the Temple of Salomon, as a result of our sins. Some despicable Jews are the cause for that … they envied our possession of this holy place, they contacted one of the chief cadis of the Temple of Salomon… and told him that this had been the tomb of prophet King David which belonged to them more than to the Christians.
10 This story of Aveiro is questioned by Amnon Cohen in his article Expulsion of Franciscans from Mount Zion in Turcica 18 (1986) p.147-157.