The Christian Quarter is one of the four neighborhoods of the Old City. It contains about 40 sacred sites of Christianity, including the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
In the nineteenth century the European countries tried to increase their influence in Jerusalem resulting in the construction of different works in the neighborhood. The Ottoman authorities attempted to block European influence by introducing rules for the purchase of land. However, interventions by leaders of European countries (such as William II of Germany and Francis Joseph of Austria) led to the construction of some buildings for the religious authorities of their respective countries.
At the end of the nineteenth century there was no land available in the neighborhood to build. In the same period the Suez Canal was opened and many Christians traveled to the Holy Land. This led to a competition between the European powers to present themselves and increase their influence in Jerusalem. France built hospitals, a monastery and hostels for visitors outside the Christian Quarter – an area known as the French Area. Before the French, the Russians were located in the Russian Mission.
The Christians could not cross from outside the walls of the Old City directly to the Christian Quarter, for that they had to use the Jaffa Gate or the Nablus Gate. In 1898 the Ottomans accepted the European request and they created a door in the walls of the city, the door was denominated “New Door”.
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