Nativity Church Bethlehem

Nativity Church - Bethlehem, Israel

Jewish Settlements Nativity Church Jesus Birthplace
Nativity Church Bethlehem

Nativity Church - Bethlehem

Nativity Church in Bethlehem, West Bank commemorates the birth of Jesus, which according to the Bible was to a poor girl in a Bethlehem barn (which during the first century was filled with animal excrement) before being wrapped and placed in a manger - an animal food bowl.

The humility of that nativity is lost on Bethlehem's hulking Nativity Church (compare the size of the church to the men at the bottom left corner), which is actually a hodgepodge of buildings added to this site over the centuries by the various orders of the Catholic and Orthodox churches when they wielded power in what is now the West Bank. The result isn't exactly an eye pleaser.

Travel Tip
My taxi driver took a visibly circuitous route to drop me off at his "cousin's" gift shop at what turned out to be the rear of the Nativity Church and insisted that I "just look around" while he fetched a "free" tour guide for me despite my insistence on my lack of need for one. As suspected, the shop owner wasn't his cousin and the tour guide wasn't free. Those with less time than I had may wish to pinpoint to their taxi driver that your destination is the Church's front door, which is the little black door an inch in from the photo's bottom left corner.

Jewish Settlements Jesus Birthplace