Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem, Palestinian Territories

The Church of the Nativity is marking the birthplace of Jesus Christ. The original basilica was built around A.D. 330 by the first Christian Roman Emperor Constantine. It was almost completely destroyed in A.D. 529 but soon after, rebuilt by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian. He rebuilt the church in a bigger, grander fashion, it is largely the structure that remains today.
The Grotto of the Nativity, a rectangular cavern beneath the church, is the church's central point. Entered by a flight of steps by the church altar, this is the cave that has been honored as the site of Christ's birth since at least the 2nd century.

The Church of the Nativity is a World Heritage Site, and was the first to be listed under Palestine.

In 1999 Palestinian Authority issued a set of 8 stamps themed Madonna and Child.


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