The image above comes from my recent pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and shows the Upper Room, the Cenacle, the traditional site of the Last Supper (and Pentecost) as it appears today.
Below are the rules for entry, posted outside the door.
Pilgrims to Jerusalem report visiting a structure on Mount Zion commemorating the Last Supper since the 4th century AD. Some scholars would have it that this was the Cenacle, in fact a synagogue from an earlier time. The anonymous pilgrim from Bordeaux, France reported seeing such a synagogue in 333 AD. A Christian synagogue is mentioned in the apocryphal 4th-century Anaphora Pilati (“Report of Pilate”); although the depiction is fantastic and of questionable reliability (the report claims that all of the other synagogues were destroyed by divine wrath immediately after Jesus’s death), a Jewish origin for the building has come under serious question. The building has experienced numerous cycles of destruction and reconstruction, culminating in the Gothic structure which stands today.
While the term Cenacle refers only to the Upper Room, a niche located on the lower level of the same building is associated by tradition with the burial site of King David, marked by a large cenotaph–sarcophagus first reported seen by 12th-century Crusaders but earlier mentioned in the 10th-century Vita Constantini. Most accept the notice in 1 Kings 2:10 that says David was buried “in the City of David”, identified as the Eastern hill of ancient Jerusalem, as opposed to what is today called Mount Sion, the Western hill of the ancient city. The general location of the Cenacle is also associated with that of the house where the Virgin Mary lived among the apostles.
In Christian tradition, the room was not only the site of the Last Supper, i.e., the Cenacle, but the room in which the Holy Spirit alighted upon the twelve apostles and other believers gathered and praying together on Pentecost. Acts 1 – 2 tell us that Judas had been replaced by Matthias, and 120 followers of Jesus gathered in this room after His ascension.
It is sometimes thought to be the place where the apostles stayed in Jerusalem. The language in Acts of the Apostles suggests that the apostles used the room as a temporary residence (Koine Greek: οὗ ἦσαν καταμένοντες, hou ēsan katamenontes), although the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary disagrees, preferring to see the room as a place where they were “not lodged, but had for their meeting place”.
The present structure has a long and complicated history — built, destroyed, rebuilt across many centuries. It certainly didn’t look like this on the night of the Last Supper.
Meanwhile, when we were there we noted that the Upper Room evidently has a mascot standing guard: a holy cat who was keeping watch.