Click Photo for Larger Version
View looking south at the foundations of the Kathisma Church.
The road on the right side of the image is the main road that runs from Jerusalem to Bethlehem and it follows the ancient route. According to the Protoevangelium of James, Mary rested (Kathisma, Greek for “seat” or “chair”) on the way to Bethlehem.
Note the three concentric octagonal wall of the church. The inner ring surrounds the sacred rock—thought to be the spot where Mary sat on her journey to Bethlehem (thus “Kathisma,” Greek for “seat” or “chair”).
Between the outer ring, and the inner space is the “ambulatory." This is where pilgrims evidently processed around the rock as part of the liturgy.