Two large basilicas stood on this Mount Zion site prior to the current one: Hagia Sion (Holy Zion) from the early 5th century until 614 and Santa Maria in Monte Sion (Our Lady of Mount Zion) from the early 12th century until 1187. Both were destroyed by invaders. In 1898, Wilhelm II, (German emperor from 1888 to 1918), purchased the land and sponsored the construction of Dormition Basilica. Construction was completed in 1910. The name Dormition means falling asleep. This references the belief that the Virgin Mary died and was taken to Heaven at this place. Make sure to walk down to the crypt to see the life-size sculpture of Mary laying with her arms folded as if peaceful with her death. Her tomb is at the base of Mount of Olives.