Facts and Data
Official Unesco Page
Unesco World heritage since: 2012
Size of heritage: 2.98 ha
- Buffer zone: 23 ha
The inscribed property is situated 10 km south of Jerusalem on the site identified by Christian tradition as the birthplace of Jesus since the 2nd century. A church was first completed there in ad 339 and the edifice that replaced it after a fire in the 6th century retains elaborate floor mosaics from the original building. The site also includes Latin, Greek Orthodox, Franciscan and Armenian convents and churches, as well as bell towers, terraced gardens and a pilgrimage route.
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Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem
The Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in Bethlehem, Palestinian Territory. It holds immense religious and historical significance as the birthplace of Jesus Christ, making it a popular destination for pilgrims and tourists from around the world.
The Church of the Nativity, built in the 4th century AD, stands on the site believed to be the birthplace of Jesus. It was commissioned by Emperor Constantine and his mother, Helena, who were devout Christians. The church has undergone several renovations and additions over the centuries, but its original structure and layout have been largely preserved.
The church complex includes the Grotto of the Nativity, a small underground cave where Jesus is said to have been born. This grotto is adorned with beautiful mosaics and is a focal point for pilgrims who come to pay homage to the birth of Jesus. The church also houses the Altar of the Nativity, which marks the exact spot of Jesus' birth.
The Pilgrimage Route, which leads to the Church of the Nativity, is an integral part of the site. It follows the traditional path taken by Christian pilgrims for centuries and is lined with historic buildings, monasteries, and chapels. The route is a testament to the enduring religious significance of Bethlehem and its connection to the birth of Jesus.
The Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route face various challenges due to their location in the Palestinian Territory. Political tensions and conflicts in the region have impacted the site's accessibility and preservation efforts. However, UNESCO and local authorities have been working together to ensure the safeguarding and conservation of this important heritage site.
Efforts have been made to restore and maintain the church complex, including the conservation of its architectural elements and the preservation of the mosaics and artwork within. The Pilgrimage Route has also been restored to its original condition, allowing visitors to experience the historical journey taken by pilgrims for centuries.
Despite the challenges, the Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route continue to attract a significant number of visitors each year. Pilgrims and tourists come to experience the spiritual and historical significance of the site, as well as to witness the vibrant cultural traditions of Bethlehem.
The site's inscription as a UNESCO World Heritage site has helped raise awareness about its importance and has contributed to the ongoing efforts to protect and preserve it. It serves as a symbol of peace, unity, and religious tolerance, attracting people from different faiths and backgrounds who come together to celebrate the birth of Jesus and appreciate the rich history of the region.
The Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route in Bethlehem stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of Christianity and the cultural heritage of the Palestinian Territory. Its historical and religious significance, combined with its architectural beauty, make it a truly remarkable and cherished UNESCO World Heritage site.
Hotels and places to stay
BEIT YEHUDAH GUEST HOUSE
Dan Boutique Jerusalem
Ramat Rachel Resort
Beit Ben Yehuda
Little House in Bakah
A Little House In The Colony
Videos from the area
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Medium airport - 28 mi (46 km) Ben Gurion International Airport
Large airport - 28 mi (46 km) Sde Dov Airport
Medium airport - 38 mi (61 km) Be'er Sheva (Teyman) Airport
Small airport - 41 mi (66 km) Queen Alia International Airport
Large airport - 46 mi (75 km) Amman-Marka International Airport
Medium airport - 50 mi (80 km) Ein Yahav Airfield
Small airport - 75 mi (121 km) Haifa International Airport
Medium airport - 77 mi (124 km) Ovda International Airport
Large airport - 123 mi (198 km) Damascus International Airport
Large airport - 140 mi (226 km) Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport
Large airport - 147 mi (237 km)
Bigger and popular cities in the wider vicinity are these:
- Al Faysaliyah
- Al Fuhays
- Al Mughayyir
- Al Qasr
- Al `Arid
- As Salt
- As Subayhi
- Ash Shunah al Janubiyah
- Dayr `Alla
- Ghawr al Mazra`ah
- Karney Shomron
- Tel Aviv
- Umm al Basatin
- Wadi as Sir
- `Ayn al Basha
These are some smaller cities that might be interesting. They are all rather close.
- Ad Dawhah
- Al Bayda
- Al `Askirah
- Ar Ru`ah
- Bayt Jala
- Bayt Sahur
- Bayt Ta`mar
- Beit Safafa
- Bi'r `Awnah
- Khalayel Allouz
- Khallat Hamad
- Khallat Hamamah
- Khallat al Luzah
- Khallat al Qaranin
- Khallat an Nu`man
- Khirbat Tabliyah
- Khirbat Za`kukah
- Khirbat an Nahlah
- Ramat Rahel
- Umm Tuba
- Wadi Umm Qal`ah
- Zahrat an Nada