Note: We have discovered that Amazon.Com now can arrange tours of Israel, or just about anywhere else in the world.
The Church of the Nativity in the heart of Bethlehem marks one of Christianity's most sacred sites - the birthplace of Jesus Christ. The Church of the Nativity is the oldest church in the Holy Land still in use.
It is located on Manger Square 5 miles from Jerusalem. The Church of the Nativity is built over a grotto where the Virgin Mary is said to have given birth to the Lord Jesus. For centuries, the Church of the Nativity was one of the most fought over holy places. It was seized and defended by a succession of armies - including both Muslim and Crusader forces.
It is now controlled jointly by three main Christian denominations - the Armenian Church, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Greek Orthodox Church.
The "Grotto of the Nativity" contains the manger that is believed to be the place where the baby Jesus was laid after he was born. The grotto is encased in white marble and the site of His birth is marked by a 14-point star on a marble stone.
The "Grotto of the Nativity" has been venerated by Christians ever since St Justin Martyr identified it as the site of Jesus' birth in the second century.
The main access to the basilica is by a very small entrance which you must stoop over to enter. It is called the "Door of Humility." It was said to have been made during the Ottoman era to prevent mounted horsemen from entering the basilica.
The present Church was built during the reign of the Byzantine Emperor, Justinian. In 529, the Samaritans revolted, and the Church of the Nativity was badly damaged. The Patriarch of Jerusalem sent St. Sabas to Justinian for help, and the architect sent by the Emperor demolished the church and built the current one.
The facade of the Church of the Nativity is encircled by the high walls of the three convents: the Franciscan on the northeast side, the Greek Orthodox and the Armenian Orthodox, on the southeast side.
The Basilica is a rectangle 53.9m long, the nave is 26.2m wide.
The Manger is situated on the north side of the Grotto, and opposite the Manger, an Alter is dedicated to the Wise Men who came to Bethlehem from the East bearing gifts to Baby Jesus.
The Grotto is rectangular in shape: length is 12.3m, and the width is 3.15m.
The easy way to get to Bethlehem is to fly into the Ben Gurion International Airport. The airport is close to Jerusalem which is about 5 miles from Bethlehem.
The Ben Gurion International Airport, (IATA: TLV, ICAO: LLBG), also referred to by its Hebrew acronym Natbag, is the largest and busiest international airport in Israel. It was named the best airport in the Middle East by the ACI organisation.[ The airport is located near the city of Lod, 15 km (9 mi) southeast of Tel Aviv. It is operated by the Israel Airports Authority, a government-owned corporation that manages all public airports and border crossings in the State of Israel. The Ben Gurion International Airport is considered one of the world's most secure airports, with a security force that includes both police officers and IDF soldiers.
There are several hotels near Bethlehem, in nearby Israel areas, such as in Jerusalem about 5 miles from Bethlehem.
There are several Guided Tour Agencies offering standard city, and historical tours of Bethlehem, Israel and the surrounding areas.
After arranging your flight we would suggest getting your hotel and then letting them arrange tours of the area for you. If you call the hotels Concierge Services ahead of your arrival, all of this can be pre-arranged for you.
I do this all the time. It is safe and it works!!! I have never experienced a problem doing it this way!
I have links to Priceline.Com on our page so that you can arrange your flight and hotel in the Bethlehem - Jerusalem, Israel area.
We would suggest using viator.com to arrange your tours of Israel. We have links to them on our web pages.
Click on that link, & then do a search of Israel, and then search the main city you will be near.
|Church of the Nativity|
On Manger Square.
Door of Humility.
Door of Humility.
|Church of the Nativity Basilica.|
|Constantinian Mosaic Floor.||Constantinian Mosaic Floor.|
|Church of the Nativity Basilica.||Church of the Nativity Basilica.|
Grotto of the Nativity.
Grotto of the Nativity.
|Grotto of the Nativity.||Grotto of the Nativity.|
|Grotto of the Nativity.||Back To|
Church of the Nativity
On Manger Square.
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Blend holy sights with centuries of history on a 2-day tour of Israel from Jerusalem, led by a local guide! The experience includes walking tours of must-visit ancient cities such as Caesarea, Acre, Nazareth and Capernaum as well as an overnight stay in a traditional Israeli kibbutz (family-run guesthouse). Visits to the UNESCO-listed Baha'i Gardens in Haifa, underground grottos of Rosh Hanikra and the baptismal site of Yarendit are also part of this exciting 2-day tour.
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Marvel at the wonders of northern Israel on a 2-day tour of Golan Heights and the Sea of Galilee from Jerusalem! This exciting experience includes visits to all the top Golan Heights attractions such as the Hammat Gader border, the Talmudic village of Katzrin and Mount Bental, a dormant volcano. After an overnight stay in a traditional Israeli 'kibbutz' (family-run guesthouse), head south to the Sea of Galilee, enjoying a tour of Nazareth plus visits to the ancient fishing village of Capernaum, Yarendit baptismal site and more.
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Indulge both body and soul on the 2-Day Best of Israel Tour from Tel Aviv. After an action-packed day exploring the ancient biblical cities of Jerusalem and Bethlehem, spend your second day relaxing and taking in the sights at Masada before a spot of Dead Sea pampering.
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Indulge both body and soul on the 2-Day Best of Israel Tour. After an action-packed day exploring the ancient biblical cities of Jerusalem and Bethlehem, spend your second day relaxing and taking in the sights at Masada before a spot of Dead Sea pampering.
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Explore Golan Heights and the area surrounding the Sea of Galilee on a 2-day tour of northern Israel from Tel Aviv! With overnight accommodation in a traditional Israeli 'kibbutz' (family-run guesthouse) included, this must-do tour introduces you to local culture as well as northern Israel's top sites. Visit the Hammat Gader border and the Talmudic village of Katzrin in the rugged Golan Heights region, and then head south to the Sea of Galilee to discover the delights of Nazareth, Capernaum, Yarendit baptismal site and more.
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See the highlights of Israel in one day on an evocative sightseeing trip from Tel Aviv. You will discover the ancient city of Jerusalem, a holy site for many different religions, before enjoying a therapeutic spa visit to the Dead Sea. Few places in the world mean so much to so many people as these do, so if you only have a day to spare, make sure you see the best that Israel has to offer!
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See the highlights of Israel in one day on an evocative sightseeing trip from Jerusalem. You will discover the ancient city of Jerusalem, a holy site for many different religions, before enjoying a therapeutic spa visit to the Dead Sea. Few places in the world mean so much to so many people as these do, so if you only have a day to spare, make sure you see the best that Israel has to offer!
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