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Bethlehem Byzantine
Church of the Nativity.

Bethlehem, Israel.
Travels & Tour
Pictures, Photos, & Information.

Audrey DeLange
November 1999.

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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.

no one deals like we do! no one deals like we do!

Church of the Nativity On Manger Square. Bethlehem, Israel, History & Historical Travel & Tours Pictures, Photos, & Information.Door of Humility. Bethlehem, Israel, History & Historical Travel & Tours Pictures, Photos, & Information.
Church of the Nativity
On Manger Square.
Entering The
Door of Humility.
Door of Humility. Bethlehem, Israel, History & Historical Travel & Tours Pictures, Photos, & Information.Church of the Nativity Basilica. Bethlehem, Israel, History & Historical Travel & Tours Pictures, Photos, & Information.
Entering The
Door of Humility.
Church of the Nativity Basilica.
Constantinian Mosaic Floor. Bethlehem, Israel, History & Historical Travel & Tours Pictures, Photos, & Information.Constantinian Mosaic Floor. Bethlehem, Israel, History & Historical Travel & Tours Pictures, Photos, & Information.
Constantinian Mosaic Floor.Constantinian Mosaic Floor.
Church of the Nativity Basilica. Bethlehem, Israel, History & Historical Travel & Tours Pictures, Photos, & Information.Church of the Nativity Basilica. Bethlehem, Israel, History & Historical Travel & Tours Pictures, Photos, & Information.
Church of the Nativity Basilica.Church of the Nativity Basilica.
Grotto of the Nativity. Bethlehem, Israel, History & Historical Travel & Tours Pictures, Photos, & Information.
Entering The
Grotto of the Nativity.
Entering The
Grotto of the Nativity.
Grotto of the Nativity. Bethlehem, Israel, History & Historical Travel & Tours Pictures, Photos, & Information.Grotto of the Nativity. Bethlehem, Israel, History & Historical Travel & Tours Pictures, Photos, & Information.
Grotto of the Nativity.Grotto of the Nativity.
Grotto of the Nativity. Bethlehem, Israel, History & Historical Travel & Tours Pictures, Photos, & Information.Church of the Nativity On Manger Square. Bethlehem, Israel, History & Historical Travel & Tours Pictures, Photos, & Information.
Grotto of the Nativity.Back To
Church of the Nativity
On Manger Square.

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