The “Immovable” Ladder at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher

Immovable Ladder on the Church of the Holy Sepulcher

The “Immovable” Ladder is a wooden ladder that has been standing on a ledge above the entrance to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem for over 250 years.

The ladder has not been moved since the 18th century due to a longstanding agreement among the church’s custodians that no clergy from any of the six denominations who share the church has the right to move, rearrange, or alter any property that is considered common to all.

To many, the ladder is considered a symbol of the “Status Quo”, a concept that governs the division of the church among the Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Armenian Apostolic Churches, as well as the Coptic, Syrian, and Ethiopian Orthodox Churches.

Despite its name, the ladder has been moved a few times by non-clergy, including by Ottoman soldiers during the construction of a minaret on the roof of the church in the 19th century.