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The Second Coming: Egypt, Israel and the Palestinian Territories
Via Poland and Gemany

Summer 2008Flag of Palestine Palestinian Territories: Nativity Church in Bethlehem Palestine Flag
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This is the place where so much started... Wether you are religious or not, the feeling you get when you are in the Nativity Church is unique.
Most people coming here are pilgrims, and their happiness and be seen in their eyes, with the feeling they have accomplished a goal in their lives.

Last time I was here was on Christmas Eve in 2006, and the atmosphere was electric! There were less people this time, but the feeling is still unique.

Lamps in the Church Of The Nativity, Bethlehem The Church of the Nativity is one of the oldest churches in the world. The Cave marking the birthplace of Jesus has been known since the begining of Christianity, but the first church here was commanded by St Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine, and was completed in 333.

The current basilica dates from 565 and was built by emperor Justinian, although it has been expanded since that time.
The Door of Humility is the main entrance to the Church, and gives you access to the Basilica of the Nativity. It's really low so mind your head if your tall.

The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, the Roman Catholics and the Armenian Orthodox Church mantain the main structure: the Basilica Of The Nativity.

It is designed as a Roman basilica, with five aisles formed by Corinthian columns.
4th century mosaic floor by Constantine - Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem The original Roman style floor has been covered but there is a trap door which opens to reveal a portion of the original 4th Century mosaic floor.
The Grotto Of The Nativity in Bethlehem Stairways on both sides of the Sanctuary lead to the Grotto Of The Nativity. This is the place where it's said that Mary gave birth to Jesus.

The altar of the Nativity, on the place where Jesus is said to be born, is marked by a 14-pointed silver star.

There were many pilgrims when I visited the site so this is the only picture I could get, but you can see a picture of the Altar Of The Nativity here.
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