Inside the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre are dozens of chapels and altars. However, there are also some remote places, behind closed doors or below the present level of the church, which are not accessible to tourists or pilgrims. Every once in a while, one of the monks will produce the key to a mysterious door in order to show a distinguished guest what is hidden behind it. One of these special places is the Armenian Chapel dedicated to St. Helen, an architectural masterpiece in Crusader- Romanic style. A dark, suggestive staircase leads down to the chapel, past hundreds of crosses inscribed on the walls by medieval pilgrims.
In the magnificent chapel four enormous columns and their relative capitals support the cupola. Right next to the altar is a door, usually kept shut, leading to the chapel of St. Vartan's. This chapel is directly below St. Helen's. St. Vartan's chapel is actually an archaeological dig started by the Armenians in 1978 where some very ancient remains have been found, but unfortunately, only a few "chosen" can view them.
They have apparently identified a wall belonging to a pagan temple built by Hadrian and dedicated to Aphrodite. (This temple was intended to obliterate the location of Jesus Christ's sepulchre, but according to the Christian tradition, its effect was just the opposite: it preserved the tomb's exact location). Also visible are the foundations of St. Constantine's (336 AD), the only remaining part of the original church.
(See: Curiosities: What is the Confectioner Hiding?)
On one of the walls is an unusual drawing of a boat that resembles a modern graffiti.


Beneath the drawing is an inscription reading, Domine Ivimus ("Let us go to the Lord.") This sentence recalls the beginning of Psalm 122: I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go to the house of the Lord!" Who could have written these words and drawn the boat? Archaeologists are certain that it must have been a Christian pilgrim who arrived in Jerusalem from the sea and thus expressed his joy upon arriving. scritta in latino

This had to have happened after the destruction of Aphrodite's temple and before the erection of St. Constantine's Basilica: therefore, it must have been about the year 300. This graffiti is the earliest archaeological evidence of Christian pilgrimage to Jerusalem.