Introduction and Definition of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre: 

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is a building that encompasses the supposed sites of Christ's Passion, including his crucifixtion and his burial place.  At the time of Christ's death, Calvary was just a rocky hill outside of Jersusalem.  A century after Christ was crucified at Calvary; the Roman Emperor Hadrian destroyed Jerusalem, covering the venerated sites with shrines and temples.  However, in 325 the Emperor Constantine I and his mother, Helena, who were Christians, visited the Holy Land and uncovered Calvary and the Holy Sepulchre beneath Hadrian's temples.  They built a basilica over the tomb of Christ.  In the following years, the Constantinian basilica was destroyed in wars, fires, and natural disasters.  In 1099, the Crusaders found the building in ruins.  Instead of a single great building encompassing the several sites of Christ's Passion, only individual chapels marked each place.  They rebuilt the church in a French Romanesque style, making it a shortened, compact building, eliminating the long nave and the entrance courtyard (the atrium) of the Constantinian era.  The 12th century building took fifty years to build and was finished in 1149.  By the later Middle Ages, the Holy Land returned to Muslim control, but Christian pilgrims still visited the church.  Managed by Franciscan friars, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was filled with many altars, chapels, sculpture, and wall decoration.  Margery Kempe speaks of her visit to the Holy Sepulchre in detail in chapters 28 and 29 in The Book of Margery Kempe. 
Recent Important Publications
Biddle, Martin. The Tomb of Christ. Thrupp, Gloucestershire: Sutton Publishing. 1999. 
Peters, F. E. Jerusalem. The Holy City in the Eyes of Chroniclers, Visitors, Pilgrims, and Prophets from the Days of Abraham to the Beginnings of Modern Times. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 1985.