Church of the Nativity
|Birthplace of Jesus: the Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem *|
The Altar of the Nativity, which marks the spot where tradition says the Virgin Mary gave birth to Jesus.
|Criteria||iii, iv, vi|
|Region **||Western Asia|
|Inscription||2012 (36th Session)|
|* Name as inscribed on World Heritage List
** Region as classified by UNESCO
The Church of the Nativity in a church in Bethlehem. It is one of the oldest churches in the world. It is built over the cave that tradition marks as the birthplace of Jesus. It is considered very sacred to Christians, Jews and Muslims.
The main basilica is maintained by the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem. Underneath the building is a cave or grotto. It is where Jesus is said to have been born. On Christmas Eve, crowds gather to sing Christmas carols outside the church in an area called Manger Square. The crowds also go to celebrate midnight mass at the Church of Saint Catherine, a Roman Catholic church next door to the basilica. It is performed by the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem.
The basilica has been reported to be not very well preserved. The Palestinian government started restoring the buildings in 2010. It was made a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in June 2012. It is the first World Heritage Site listed under Palestine. It was listed as being in danger.
- "CHURCH OF THE HOLY NATIVITY | World Monuments Fund". Wmf.org. http://www.wmf.org/project/church-holy-nativity. Retrieved 2011-12-22.
- Kumar, Anugrah (28 November 2011). "Bethlehem's Nativity Church to Get Overdue Repairs". http://www.christianpost.com/news/bethlehems-nativity-church-to-get-overdue-repairs-63163/.
- "Topic Galleries". chicagotribune.com. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/sns-ap-ml-palestinians-ancient-church,0,2313867.story. Retrieved 2011-12-22.
- Lazaroff, Tovah (June 29, 2012). "UNESCO: Nativity Church heritage site in 'Palestine'". The Jerusalem Post. http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=275738. Retrieved 2012-06-29.