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.
|2-Day Israel Tour from Jerusalem: Caesarea, Acre, Haifa and Nazareth - $310.00|
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.
|8-Night Israel Tour from Tel Aviv: Jerusalem, Dead Sea, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Northern Israel and Petra - $1,685.00|
Witness the best of Israel and Petra on this 8-night tour from Tel Aviv, including coach transport and your choice of hotel accommodation. With an expert guide, explore the religious sites of Old Jerusalem, view the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Israel Museum, and visit Nazareth and Bethlehem. Ride a cable car to Masada, float in the Dead Sea, and spend two days exploring northern Israel's highlights including Golan Heights, the Sea of Galilee, Haifa, Caesarea, Acre and more. Finish with return flights to Eilat to discover UNESCO-listed Petra.
|7-Night Israel Highlights and Biblical Tour: Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Galilee and Optional Dead Sea Day Trip - $1,151.00|
Journey through Israel's holy and historical highlights on this 7-night tour from Jerusalem, with accommodation, transport and select meals included. Explore the spiritual sites of Old and New Jerusalem, follow the miracle trail around the Sea of Galilee, visit holy Bethlehem and Nazareth, and explore the Golan Heights, Haifa and ancient ruins at Caesarea and Beit She'an. Finish with a free day in Tel Aviv or an optional day trip to the Dead Sea to float in its waters. Airport pickup and drop-offs are included either side of your tour.
|5-Day Best of Israel Tour from Tel Aviv: Jerusalem, Dead Sea, Nazareth, and Masada - $786.00|
Discover Israel's holy highlights on an action-packed 5-day tour from Tel Aviv, with hotel and 'kibbutz' (family-run guesthouse) accommodation included. Led by an expert local guide, the experience is packed with walking tours and excursions that offer perfect introductions to Israel's top attractions. Explore Jerusalem's Old City and the City of David on walking tours; ride to the hill-top fortress of Masada by cable car; float in the desolate Dead Sea; tour Nazareth and the villages around the Sea of Galilee; visit the ancient ruins of Caesarea and more!
|5-Day Israel Tour from Jerusalem: Dead Sea, Nazareth and Masada - $786.00|
This action-packed 5-day tour from Jerusalem offers a perfect introduction to Israel's holy highlights and top attractions. With your expert local guide, explore Jerusalem's Old City and the City of David; take a cable car ride to the hill-top fortress of Masada; relax by floating in the Dead Sea; tour Nazareth and the villages around the Sea of Galilee; visit the ancient ruins of Caesarea and more. Your experience includes guided walking tours, free time to spend at your leisure, and overnight accommodation in 3-star hotels and a family-run guesthouse."
|2-Day Israel Tour from Tel Aviv: Acre, Caesarea, Nazareth and the Sea of Galilee - $310.00|
Explore some of Israel's finest ancient cities and religious sites on a 2-day tour of Israel, led by a local guide! After visiting King Herod's old stomping ground at the coastal town of Caesarea, stroll around the UNESCO-listed Baha'i Gardens in Haifa, and then discover the delights of the underground caves at Rosh Hanikra. Enjoy an overnight stay in a traditional Israeli kibbutz (family-run guesthouse) in Mizra and then spend the final day visiting sites in and around the Sea of Galilee, such as Nazareth, Capernaum and Yarendit.
|2-Day Northern Israel Tour from Jerusalem: Golan Heights, Nazareth and the Sea of Galilee - $310.00|
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.
|2-Day Best of Israel Tour from Tel Aviv: Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Masada & the Dead Sea - $310.00|
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.
|2-Day Best of Israel Tour: Old Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Masada & the Dead Sea - $310.00|
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.
|2-Day Northern Israel Tour from Tel Aviv: Golan Heights, Nazareth and the Sea of Galilee - $310.00|
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.
|Highlights of Israel Day Trip from Tel Aviv: Jerusalem and the Dead Sea - $131.00|
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!
|Highlights of Israel Day Trip: Jerusalem and the Dead Sea - $104.00|
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!
|Private Tour: Highlights of Israel Day Trip from Tel Aviv Including Old Jerusalem, Western Wall and the Dead Sea - $95.14|
Take a day out to discover the iconic religious sites of Jerusalem and visit the Dead Sea on this private day trip from Tel Aviv. With a private driver-guide, visit Old Jerusalem to see landmarks including the Western Wall, Via Dolorosa and Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and absorb the city views from the Mount of Olives. Then, cross the Judean Desert to float in the Dead Sea and enjoy a revitalizing, mineral-rich mud bath before your return to Tel Aviv. Enjoy in-depth attention from a guide on this private tour.
|Private Tour: Highlights of Israel Day Trip from Jerusalem or Tel Aviv Including Old Jerusalem, Western Wall and the Dead Sea - $92.14|
Discover Old Jerusalem's top sights and float in the Dead Sea on this private day trip from Jerusalem or Tel Aviv. With a private driver-guide, visit the Mount of Olives to admire glorious views over Jerusalem's old city. Then, head inside the city walls to see the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and Western Wall, and walk the Via Dolorosa, Jesus' path to his crucifixion. Finish at the Dead Sea, with free time to swim in its waters and enjoy a mud bath. Receive the full attention from a guide on this private tour.
|Back To Israel Tours Main Page
|Back To DeLange Home Page|