Gethsemane is the Greek word for olive press, and the Garden of Gethsemane would have been an olive grove with an olive press in the time that Jesus lived. Christian pilgrims come to this site to pay homage to the place where Jesus and his disciples came after the Last Supper. According to the New Testament, several important events took place here such as the betrayal of Jesus by Judas, the cutting off of the High Priest’s servant’s ear, and Jesus praying alone. The site now contains ancient trees, which would have been saplings in the time of Jesus, and well maintained flowerbeds.
The Church of All Nations was built here in the 1920s, on the site of earlier churches. The church contains an intricate mosaic telling the story of the garden, and there is a less-frequented grove across the path where visitors can arrange to have private time for praying and meditation.
The garden is located on the Mount of Olives, which as the name suggests was famous for its olive groves in biblical times. The Mount of Olives is full of churches and biblically significant sites, and stands opposite the Temple Mount, overlooking the site where the Temple would have stood, now home to the Dome of the Rock.