Bethlehem, PalestineOctober 12, 2018 in Palestine ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C
After lunch we head to Bethlehem. On the way we pass the St. Andrews Scottish Church, with the Saltire flying from the tower.
We had to pass through a huge wall, where we had to change mini-buses and tour guides. Neither was allowed to pass through. Once inside Bethlethem, we visited the Church of the Nativity. Entering the church that marks the site of Christ’s birthplace means having to stoop low. The only doorway in the fortress-like front wall is just 1.2 metres high.
The previous entrance to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem was lowered around the year 1500 to stop looters from driving their carts in. Today’s basilica, the oldest complete church in the Christian world, was built by the emperor Justinian in the 6th century. It replaced the original church of Constantine the Great, built over the cave venerated as Christ’s birthplace, and dedicated in AD 339.
Before Constantine, the first Christian emperor, the Romans had tried to wipe out the memory of the cave. They planted a grove dedicated to the pagan god Adonis, lover of Venus, and established his cult in the cave. Steps lead down to the Grotto of the Nativity.Read more