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Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem

4.3
#1 of 63 in Things to do in Palestinian Territories
Historic Site Religious Site
Make a pilgrimage to Church of the Nativity along with the many visitors to this World Heritage Site and Christian holy site that's believed to stand over the cave where Jesus Christ was born. The emperor Constantine originally built this church in the 4th century CE. Some elements of his original temple, like the pink columns of polished limestone, remain, though most of the church as it stands today originated in the Justinian reconstruction of the 6th century. Whiles there, walk through the door of humility, small enough to force everyone to dismount their horses upon entry, and down the steps to the grotto where believers say Mary gave birth to Jesus Christ. A visit to Church of the Nativity represents just the start of the adventure when you use our Bethlehem vacation trip planner to plot your vacation.
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
1,435 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • One of the best sites to visit. The Church of the Nativity is managed by Catholics, Orthodox gringos and Armenians each with its own chapel. Highlights of the mosaic flooring, painted columns and especially the grotto of the Nativity where the place where Jesus was born and the manger.
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  • We have visited the Church of the Nativity on July 28, 2017. A restless moment in the occupied area. First eat info about tour there. We have chosen to address the bus from Jerusalem (5 Ils pp) to checkpoint 300 and from there the taxi to Bethlehem. They ask for a ride to the City Center about 30 Ils per person but will definitely try to take you to other locations for more money. Is recommend it. now of course negotiate. You stand with large groups in row and are far from being the money of an organized tour. We were with 2 adults and 3 children aged from 9 to 12 years. We have deliberately chosen to dress us covered. Men's long pants and women long dress, cloth-covered arms and head. You will be treated with respect and get no nasty comments to your head. At the Church of the Nativity itself can the pressure. The earlier you go the more likely it is that you quickly can be. It is also good to take account of the prosessies out there. At that time, you are not allowed in the cave and the space closed. At the time we were there was a large extent in the scaffolding. That makes it an average rating. The altar and the cave were clearly visible and a special place. Delicious eaten at st George restaurant really Arabic. Salad in advance and skewers with different types of meat and fries on the table. For 3 people ordered. Was more than enough. In short worth!!!
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  • If you can delay your visit, I would recommend it as the church is being restored. There is scaffolding on the outside and the inside of the church. You can still visit and see the birthplace of Jesus...  more »
Google
  • The Nativity Church marks the place where the greatest event happened in the history- the birth of Lord Jesus Christ. Every year thousands of pilgrims visit the site to honor this glorious event. The first church was built in the 4th century, but later destroyed by Samaritans revolts. What we see today of the church is accumulation of different periods through history, the oldest parts is from Emperor Justinian's times. This is definitely the ultimate pilgrim's destination, must visit!
  • Praise the lord. It is marvelous. If God gave opportunity to see the holy places for us then we will visit.
  • Very crowded when we were there - Queued for almost 1h just to get to basement to see that exact birth cave. The whole church is also under renewal so not so nice to see
  • Birth place of Jesus , the church is being renovated a the moment, the star of Bethlehem is in a cave at the bottom of the altar, you have to stoop down to enter inside. It is crowded and you end up getting pushed..
  • Interesting to see the place of Jesus's birth. I'm not much on the glitz in the church building, but some of the mosaics (even the floor hidden under the floor) were intriguing. Doorways are short, so you have to stoop (humble yourself) to enter.

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Where to stay in Bethlehem

The main tourist traffic in Bethlehem consists of tour groups arriving from Jerusalem, getting a hectic tour of the town, and leaving. But Bethlehem's tangled streets house a number of accommodations worth checking out if you want to extend your stay beyond a brief look around. Located here, there, and everywhere, the hotels in town blend in with the rest of the buildings, so you should certainly plan ahead to make sure you know exactly where yours is. A couple of luxury choices have ornamental interiors, fine-dining restaurants, and pools, while standard hotels and guesthouses abound, along with a few backpacker hostels.
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