By local tradition the “Church of the Holy Archangels” in the Armenian quarter is built over the house the high priest Annas, the father in law of Caiaphas, who was also a high Priest. Caiaphas is known as the high priest who interrogated Jesus (John 18:13, cf. Luke 3:2). Later both Annas and Caiaphas interrogated Peter and John (Acts 4:6). Annas son Annas was also a leading figure in Jerusalem, and had James “the Just” executed (Ant. 20 9).
Visiting the Church of the Archangles
The church can only be visited with a permit of the Armenian patriarchate. The Church is a humble structure. By local tradition one of its altars marks the place of Jesus’ Prison.
A visit to the church can be arranged, as part of a day tour of Jerusalem.
The Sacred Olive Tree
In the courtyard of the church is an old, walled olive tree. By local tradition it is from “Earliest Christian times”. Its fruits are believed to be an effective remedy to high fever. Reputed for its healing powers among the locals, in Arabic the name of the church became “Deir el Zitoun” (=”The Monastery of the Olives”).