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Bethlehem

Discover Bethlehem

Bethlehem place of the birth of Jesus, one can enter the newly renovated Church of the Nativity, one of the oldest churches in the world, and descend to the grotto and contemplate what Christians hold to be God’s greatest gift to all creation. The adjacent caves of Saint Jerome, place of the translation of the Bible into Latin, and the Milk Grotto, where the Virgin Mary first nursed the infant Jesus give further contemplation to the Christian story. In nearby Beit Sahour, one visits the Shepherd’s Fields and imagines what the starry night sky must have been like when the Angels first appeared to the simple shepherds tending to their flocks. To the west of Bethlehem in Beit Jala, a cave which belonged to Saint Nicholas, origin of the “Good Saint Nick” legend, tell another chapter of the Christian story, while to the east, the monasteries of Mar Theodosius and Mar Saba continue the millennia-old monastic traditions of the Greek Orthodox desert monks of Palestine. In Bethlehem, one can also discover an artisan’s haven for such traditions as olive wood carving, mother-of-pearl, and iconography.

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