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Cave of the Nativity, Israel, West Bank
Idea About: place
The Altar of the Nativity with the star marking the place where the Virgin Mary gave birth to Jesus.
The Cave or Grotto of the Nativity is in Bethlehem, Israel, only ten-minute drive from Jerusalem. The cave, the most sacred place of Christians, is located beneath the Church of the Nativity built in the 4th century by Helena, the mother of the Byzantine Emperor Constantine. The Church of the Nativity, the oldest church in the Holy Land, guards like a citadel the cave where it is believed Jesus was born. The main entrance to the Church of the Nativity is a small Door of Humility, which visitors must enter bending over. They say that the size of the door did not allow mounted horsemen to enter the basilica during the Ottoman Empire rule. You can get into The Grotto of the Nativity through two doorways on either side of the church, two stairs lead down to the Cave of The Nativity. On the spot where Jesus is said to have been born there is The Altar of the Nativity. The place of birth is marked by a hole in the marble floor below the alter, surrounded by a silver star and silver lamps. The Cave of The Nativity is controlled jointly by three Christian denominations: the Armenian Church, the Roman Catholic Church and the Greek Orthodox Church.
What Makes It Special
The Cave of the Nativity located in the heart of Bethlehem is one of the Christianity's most sacred sites - the birthplace of Jesus Christ. The Church of the Nativity is considered to be an oldest church in the world. The cave and the church were a holy place of pilgrimage for many world religions for millennia, and nowadays it remains to be the holiest place for millions of Christians.
Directions To Destination
The church is located in Bethlehem city center, Manger square, West Bank, 6.2 miles (10 km) south of Jerusalem. Directions from Jerusalem:
Best Time To Go
All year round. Consider visiting the area during Christmas time where the place is especially beautiful.
Where To Stay
Our recommendations are:
Useful Visitor Information and Tips
Open: In Winter daily 8 am -5 pm.; In Summer daily 7am - 6 pm. Admission is free. There are several services in the church daily. Consider visiting the area during Christmas time. All of the Christmas celebrations in Bethlehem are held on Manger Square, with an enormous Christmas tree in the middle of it. Locals and pilgrims sing Christmas carols before the midnight mass at the Church of the Nativity. The whole setting is beautiful and peaceful.
Tags: Bethlehem; Cave of the Nativity; Christianity (2); Christians (2); Church of the Nativity; Franciscan Church of St Catherine; Israel (6); Jerusalem (3); Jesus (2); Manger square; Milk Grotto Chapel; Mosque of Omar; Pilgrimage (14); Rachels Tomb; Solomons Pools; West Bank