Church of St Peter in Gallicantu

one of the most striking churches in Jerusalem commemorates the apostle Peter’s triple denial of his Master, his immediate repentance and his reconciliation with Christ after the Resurrection.
Built on an almost sheer hillside, the Church of St Peter in Gallicantu stands on the eastern slope of Mount Zion.
On its roof rises a golden rooster atop a black cross — recalling Christ’s prophecy that Peter would deny him three times “before the cock crows”. Galli-cantu means cockcrow in Latin.
Peter’s denial of Christ is recorded in all four Gospels (most succinctly in Matthew 26:69-75). Three of the Gospels also record his bitter tears of remorse.
The scene of Peter’s disgrace was the courtyard of the high priest Caiaphas. The Assumptionist congregation, which built St Peter in Gallicantu over the ruins of a Byzantine basilica, believes it stands on the site of the high priest’s house.
Under the church is a dungeon thought to be the cell where Jesus was detained for the night following his arrest.
The Church of St Peter in Gallicantu is built on four different levels — upper church, middle church, guardroom and dungeon. Its design and art are a colourful blend of contemporary and ancient works.
In the courtyard a statue depicts the denial, including the rooster, the woman who questioned Peter, and a Roman soldier.
Inside, on the right, are two Byzantine-era mosaics. Uncovered during excavation, they were most likely part of the floor of the fifth-century Byzantine church.
The ceiling is a striking feature. It is dominated by a huge cross-shaped window designed in a radiant variety of colours.
Three large mosaics cover the back wall and two side walls. Facing the entrance is a bound Jesus being questioned in the house of Caiaphas; on the right, Jesus and the disciples are shown at the Last Supper; on the left, Peter is depicted in ancient papal dress as the first pope.
Downstairs, in the middle church, icons above the altars depict St Peter’s denial, his repentance and his reconciliation with his Master on the shore of the Sea of Galilee after the Resurrection.
Many of the inscriptions in the church are in French, since the Assumptionists are a French religious order.