Why No One Is Allowed to Move This Ladder Outside a Jerusalem Church

Wknight94, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0
Wknight94, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0 / Wknight94, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

When someone leaned a ladder against the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem centuries ago, they likely didn't imagine it would stay there for good. There's nothing sacred about the Immovable Ladder, which is located on a ledge above the entrance to the church, but touching it could spark riots and even a religious war. RealLifeLore explains the messy politics attached to the object in a new video.

The building that houses the Church of the Holy Sepulchre dates back to the 4th century. Christians believe it contains both the site of Jesus's crucifixion and his resurrection—two of the religion's holiest events. Over the centuries, this has led to a lot of tension between various factions of Christianity, each of which claim to be the rightful owners of the church. In the 1700s, six of these denominations came to a compromise: The Greek Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic, Roman Catholic, Coptic Orthodox, Syriac Orthodox, and Ethiopian Orthodox churches would all share the property. But they had to agree not to change anything about its original state without the consent of all the owners.

That agreement was signed more than 250 years ago, and rather than working together to update the building as needed, church officials have mostly left it alone in order to avoid conflict. That means that everything looks pretty much the same as it did in the 18th century—right down to the simple wooden ladder that was likely left outside by a handyman.

You can check out the full story in the video below.

[h/t RealLifeLore]