This church, built in 1924, is located on the traditional site of the garden in which Jesus collapsed. No one can be sure of the exact spot at which he prayed, but this limited area was certainly close to the natural route leading from the Temple to the summit of the Mount of Olives and the ridge leading to Bethany.
The present edifice is the latest in a series of three churches. It covers ‘the elegant church’ (Egeria) built between AD 379 and 384 on the site where the pre- Constantinian Jerusalem community commemorated the prayer of Christ. Willibald, in 724-5, is the last pilgrim to mention this church; it was destroyed by an earthquake some twenty years later. The Crusaders first built an oratory in the ruins which they later replaced by a church; they gave it a slightly different orientation in order to have a piece of rock in each apse – a rather material interpretation of the triple prayer of Christ. The fate of this building is unknown; still functioning in 1323, it was abandoned in 1345.
The rock in the nave was also the central feature of the C4 church whose outline and columns are traced in black marble on the floor; glass panels protect sections of the Byzantine mosaic floor. Part of the present south weall near the apse is solid rock. This was the centre-piece of the Crusader church; on the top (about eye level) note a leveled surface and a cut hole suggesting the emplacement of an altar. The reconstructed trace of the Crusader edifice can be seen outside the south wall. Leave the church by the main door and turn left.
Source: The Holy Land by Jerome Murphy- O’Connor