About the project
St. Mary’s of the German Knights (also known as the Santa Maria Crusader Church and the Church of St. Mary of the Germans) was a Crusader-era complex that included a church, hostel and hospital built in 1128 to serve German-speaking pilgrims. The Romanesque-style church was partially destroyed in the 13th Century. In 1968, when the city began reconstructing the Old City’s Jewish Quarter, archeologists revealed the remains of the church. The site, which is located at the top of Ma’alot Rav Yehuda Halevi (the main stairs that lead down to the Western Wall) had been covered with collapsed buildings, some of which served as sub-standard housing and the rest as donkey stables. Archeologist Meir Ben-Dov led the excavation, preservation and restoration of key elements of the site, which was turned into an archeological garden with landscaping, seating and interpretive signs.