At the end of the 19th century, two large hypogea were uncovered in the grounds of the holy place of the martyrdom of St. Stephen, according to Byzantine tradition. They were carefully restored as soon as they were discovered. The Convent of St. Stephen considers them to be part of its archaeological and historical heritage. One of the hypogea has been integrated into a funerary chapel used as the cemetery of the Dominicans of the French Biblical and Archaeological School of Jerusalem.
Upon prior request and under specific conditions, they are open to researchers and people with academic motives and guaranteed by a supervising institution. Visits are also possible for tourist guides involved in historical and archaeological heritage issues. To obtain permission to visit, please send a message to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org
– Groups are limited to twenty people, including the guide.
– The visit is limited to one hour.
– Visitors are required to respect the site and restrict their visit to strictly documentary, archaeological purposes, to the exclusion of all other activities.
The tombs are considered to have belonged to the aristocratic society of Judea. Their measured excavation and elaborate layout correspond to the Alexandrian practice and style of the Hellenistic period. They may date back to the 4th century, in the late Persian period. The interpretation placing them in the Iron Age has been proposed and is not unanimous.