This article is about a World Heritage Site

Church of the Nativity

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Church of the Nativity

The interior of the Church of the Nativity circa 1936, photographed by Lewis Larsson

Basic information
Location Bethlehem
Geographic coordinates 31°42′15.50″N 35°12′27.50″E / 31.7043056°N 35.2076389°E / 31.7043056; 35.2076389Coordinates: 31°42′15.50″N 35°12′27.50″E / 31.7043056°N 35.2076389°E / 31.7043056; 35.2076389
Affiliation Shared: Greek Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic, and Roman Catholic with minor Syriac and Coptic rights[1]
Status Active
Architectural description
Architectural type Byzantine (Constantine the Great and Justinian I)
Architectural style Romanesque
Groundbreaking 325
Completed 565
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Official name: Birthplace of Jesus: the Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem
Type: Cultural Heritage
Criteria: iv, vi
Designated: 2012[2]
Reference #: 1433
State Party: Israel
Region: Western Asia

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.[3][4] The Palestinian government started restoring the buildings in 2010.[5] 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.[6]

References[change | change source]

  1. Cust, L. G. A. (1929). The Status Quo in the Holy Places. H.M.S.O. for the High Commissioner of the Government of Palestine.
  2. "Unesco, Birthplace of Jesus: the Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
  3. "CHURCH OF THE HOLY NATIVITY | World Monuments Fund". Retrieved 2011-12-22.
  4. Kumar, Anugrah (28 November 2011). "Bethlehem's Nativity Church to Get Overdue Repairs". The Christian Post.
  5. "Topic Galleries". Retrieved 2011-12-22.
  6. Lazaroff, Tovah (June 29, 2012). "UNESCO: Nativity Church heritage site in 'Palestine'". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2012-06-29.

Other websites[change | change source]

Media related to Church of the Nativity at Wikimedia Commons