A major Palestinian City in the West Bank. This old city is mentioned in the Old Testament as the hometown of Boaz and Ruth. Later, it was the town of David, and the place where Samuel anointed David, the shepherd boy, as a king. But its greatest religious significance is because it is the city where Jesus Christ was born.
Sites to visit:
- The Church of the Nativity: the birth place of Jesus Christ. It is considered the oldest church building in the world! It was built for the second time by the Emperor Justine in 538AD and was never destroyed after that.
- The Cave of St. Jerome: where St. Jerome lived for almost 35 years and translated the Bible from Greek and Aramaic into Latin
- The Milk Grotto: according to our traditions, Mary nursed baby Jesus here, and there is a place where a drop of milk fell on a rock, turning it white. It has been reported as a place of miracles for centuries.
- The Old town of Bethlehem and the old market.
- Solomon Pools: three huge water reservoirs that Herod the Great built two thousand years ago to become a major water resource for Bethlehem, Jerusalem and Herodion.
- Irtas Village and Monastery: an old town south of Bethlehem with a water spring that is still used by locals as a source for drinking water. The monastery of Irtas was built at the end of the 19th Tradition says that King Solomon wrote his book Song of Songs there.
- George Monastery: One of the places where St. George lived. It is considered as a healing place, especially for children with speaking disabilities.
- Herodion: a man made mountain, built by Herod the Great to become his summer palace and later became his burial site
- Theodosius and Mar Saba: a Greek Orthodox Monastery, still used today for the monastic life. It was established in the wilderness by Christian hermits sixteen hundred years ago. This beautiful wilderness is one of the most unique places in the holy Land.
- Shepherd’s Field: according to our traditions, it is the place where angels appeared to the shepherds and gave them the good news about the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. There are two sites related to this , the Catholic site and the Greek Orthodox site.