During the early Christian years, the west hill of Jerusalem was identified to the Sion of the Old Testament. Today, on this hill is built the Patriarchal School of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem. The term Sion in the Old Testament meant: kingdom of Judah, land of Israel, people of Israel and above all spiritual Jerusalem, from where, as Prophet Michaiah says, “The teaching and the Law of the God will come”. For the Christians New Sion is the Church of Jerusalem and apart from the name Patriarchate of Jerusalem it is also called the Church of Holy Sion or the Sionitic Church.
It appears that this religious and symbolic interpretation of Sion constituted the most important factor in its identification by the first Christians. Christian traditions mention that the following events happened at Sion : the Last Supper, the trial of Christ in front of the high priests Anna and Caiaphas, the appearance of Christ to Thomas and to the twelve Apostles after His Resurrection, the descent of the Holy Spirit and the founding of the first Christian community and Church.
During the 5th and 6th century, Sion became related with other events, like the Assumption of the Theotokos, the burial of James the brother of the Lord, Peter's denial and the burial of King David. The most important of the shrines of Sion was the “Loft” (or attic), namely, the two-storey house in which the Last Supper took place and the descent of the Holy Spirit. In the 4th century, the Loft was incorporated within a splendid Basilica, which was called “The Church of Holy Sion ”.
In 614 the Church of Sion and the Loft were destroyed by the Persians. A few years later it was rebuilt by the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Modestos, but it was again destroyed by the Arabs. After the expulsion of the Crusaders from Jerusalem, the place of the Loft was seized by the Muslims and for a very long time it was used as a mosque.