This experience lasts 1 hour

Unlike in other countries where churches are turned into mere relicts of culture, in Palestine they are actively used by the local Christian community and also Moslems come to the Nativity Grotto leaving a prayer for Mary and Jesus. Thus, why not attend a local mass in one of Bethlehem?s numerous churches. Regardless of your denomination, you will be more than welcome to attend and visit. For example in the Nativity Grotto, services are held in Italian from 5 AM (winter) and 6 AM (summer) regularly. You may refer to www.cicts.org for an updated masses schedule.

Church of Nativity

31.703975, 35.207443

The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem is a major Christian holy site, as it marks the traditional place of Christ's birth. It is also one of the oldest surviving Christian churches. The church was originally commissioned in 327 by Constantine the Great and his mother Helena over the site that was traditionally considered to be located over the cave that marks the birthplace of Jesus.

Grotto of the Nativity

31.703975, 35.207443

Far from the Christmas-card image, the place of Christ?s birth is a dimly-lit rock cave. Instead of a star above, a 14-point silver star on the marble floor of the Grotto of the Nativity bears the words ?Hic de Virgine Maria Jesus Christus natus est? (Here Jesus Christ was born to the Virgin Mary).The Altar of the Nativity only began to be venerated in the Byzantine period when this space was created to commemorate the precise place in which Jesus had been born.

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Start period: 27-10-2016
End period: 30-12-2017

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