My first visit to the traditional site of the Last Supper — it’s not how da Vinci pictured it.

Postcard from Peggy: Somberness prevails in a place where Christians believe Jesus dined with his disciples and revealed that one of them would betray him.

Editor’s note The Salt Lake Tribune’s senior religion writer, Peggy Fletcher Stack, is on assignment in the Middle East. Besides her deeper reporting, she is sharing shorter daily dispatches. This one is from sacred Holy Week sites in Jerusalem.

Jerusalem • Forget da Vinci.

On Thursday, Christians flocked to see, experience and celebrate the upper room located above King David’s tomb on Mount Zion outside the Old City in memory of Jesus’ Last Supper.

The New Testament says Christ washed his disciples’ feet, broke bread and drank wine with them, saying that those elements were symbols of his body and blood, and then declared that one of the apostles would betray him.

Tradition also describes the room as where devastated disciples heard the news that the Savior was resurrected and where they continued to meet on the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended on them.

It is considered one of the holiest Christian sites but looks nothing like the famed European painting.

(Michael Stack | The Salt Lake Tribune) The room where Christians commemorate Christ’s Last Supper. Thursday, April 14, 2022.

The Cenacle (which means “the dining room”) was built by the crusaders 800 years ago, according to Jerusalem’s travel site, as part of a big church, “which was erected upon the remnants of an ancient Byzantine Church. The building was renovated into its current form in 1335 by the Franciscan monks, the custodians of the Holy Land.”

The room is a little rectangular but not dramatically, as if it could hold an extensive table (I have always wondered why, in Leonardo da Vinci’s painting, everyone was sitting on one side. In fact, biblical scholars say the men may have eaten on a rug on the floor and could even have been reclining). There are six arched ceilings with an altar on one side of the open space.

(Antonio Calanni | AP)Leonardo Da Vinci masterpiece "The Last Supper" is seen Thursday, May 27, 1999, in Milan.

After the supper, the Bible says, Jesus retired to the Garden of Gethsemane at the foot of the Mount of Olives to pray. He knelt beside a rock, a piece of which now rests in the Basilica of the Agony, built in 1924 on the traditional site.

Christians believe the man who would be their Savior suffered intense pain during that prayer, asking God to “let this cup pass from me” but ultimately submitted to what was coming. “Thy will be done.”

(Michael Stack | The Salt Lake Tribune) A section of bedrock in the Basilica of the Agony, where Christians believe Christ prayed on the night of his arrest. Thursday, April 14, 2022.

It was there he was identified by Judas, arrested and taken before Jewish authorities.

On this night, Christians gathered in the basilica to read the biblical passages about these tortured events, and then retraced the path of his arrest and trial, singing hymns, while holding torches and candles aloft creating a river of lights.

(Michael Stack | Special to The Tribune) Christians retrace the steps by candle light that Christ took after he was arrested and taken to the authorities. Thursday, April 14, 2022.

Unlike the joyous procession of Palm Sunday, this was somber and subdued.

(Michael Stack | Special to The Tribune) Muslims are out late celebrating Ramadan in East Jerusalem on Thursday, April 14. 2022.

As we walked back to our hotel from the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu (or in “the cockcrows”) near midnight, Jewish families were finishing their preparations for Passover and Muslim devotees were still enjoying their after-fast Ramadan partying.

The convergence of these holidays filled me with a feeling of connection.

(Michael Stack | Special to The Tribune) The Basilica of the Agony, the church built in the Garden of Gethsemane. Thursday, April 14, 2022.