The Church of St. Catherine, Bethlehem

4.3
#3 of 7 in Historic Sites in Bethlehem
Ruin Historic Site
A Franciscan monastery and parish church for Bethlehem's Catholics, The Church of St. Catherine sits atop an underground maze of Crusader caves. The Gothic Revival church has evolved from a small 14th-century convent and makes up a World Heritage Site together with the neighboring 6th-century church and Christian pilgrimage route. Enter through the preserved Crusader arches into the basilica, noting the nativity scenes depicted in the surrounding stained glass windows. Descend a narrow stairway to glimpse the underground system of ancient tombs, Augustinian monastery, and Crusader chapel. The church is famed for holding Bethlehem's annual televised Christmas Eve midnight mass. The Church of St. Catherine is just one of the many highlights you can arrange to see using our international travel planner, Bethlehem Edition.
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  • This church of Santa Catalina is located right next to the Basilica of the Nativity. Beautiful courtyard with a giant crib and it is worth the visit to the cloister with its columns and capitals.
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  • About 150 years ago, the Catholics decided they wanted their own Church instead of sharing with the Orthodox and this is the result. It is very beautiful, very nice side altars and paintings. Not ment...  more »
  • Bethlehem is filled with many churches and this one is a good one to visit and contemplation. Located on the other side of the Basilica of the Nativity.  more »

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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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