©Wellcome Library, London

This view of Jerusalem from the south, sketched by the British artist David Roberts (1796-1864) in about 1838, had changed little since the Middle Ages when Christians from western Europe made their first pilgrimages to the Holy Land. Weary and sick from their long and hazardous journey, many would have delighted in the refuge provided by the Hospital of St John, situated to the south of the church of the Holy Sepulchre. In its heyday, the hospital building was 70 metres long and 36.50 metres wide with high, elegant arches, cloistered courtyards, lawns and gardens. It contained about 1000 beds and could cater for up to 2000 inmates. On a bad day, more than 50 people would leave in shrouds.

Lithograph by Louis Haghe (1806-1885) after David Roberts (1796-1864), London 1842.