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Religious Routes And Sites

Religious Routes And Sites

The Patriarch’s Route is named for the route taken by the Patriarch and other dignitaries for several religious processions during the year, such as Christmas Eve and The Feast of the Holy Eucharist. Just before entering Star Street in the City of Bethlehem, from the Nativity Road, you come across…
Shepherds' Field is located in Beit Sahour, a short distance to the east of the City of Bethlehem. Three churches are built over and around the cave where the shepherds sat when they saw the star shining in the sky. Every year on the Feast of the Shepherds this route…
Many are the pilgrims who have stood here and taken in the scene. From this place, too, generations of Bethlehmeites have stood and watched people enter their city as visitors or conquerors. They have seen many curious sights over the centuries, such as the men sat who stood on a…
Built by the Emperor Constantine in 326 AD over the cave where Jesus was born, the Church of the Nativity is claimed to be the oldest church in the world. St. Jerome wrote the Latin Bible from here soon after. It has not changed in its essentials since the Emperor…
This lavishly decorated church on a street a few metres from the Church of the Nativity, in Bethlehem’s Anatreh Quarter, is built atop an irregular grotto hollowed out of a soft white rock (senonian chalk). It is thought to have been originally built in 404 AD by St. Paula, the…
A unique structure lying in the Jerusalem Wilderness, the Monastery of Mar Saba dates back to the fifth century and is among the oldest inhabited monasteries in the world. The monastery was founded by the Saint who bears its name, an extraordinary figure hailing from Cappadoccia. Like William Dalrymple, men…
Coming into Bethlehem from Jerusalem, you pass the Mar Elias Monastery on the right, located 4 kilometers to the north of the center of Bethlehem. Originally founded in the sixth century, it was rebuilt by Emperor Manuel Comnenus in 1160 after a destructive earthquake. Elias is associated with the prophet…
For millennia Rachel’s tomb was a key landmark, heralding the northern entrance to the outskirts of Bethlehem. Jacob had erected a pillar over the grave of his wife Rachel, who had died giving birth to Benjamin. The site was later revered by Christians and Muslims as well as Jews. In…
Known locally as Biyar Daoud (David’s Cisterns or Well), these three great cisterns are excavated in the rock and are nowadays located within the Catholic Action Club premises. Tradition identifies them with “the cistern that is in Bethlehem at the gate” from which David longed to drink during a battle…
On a hillside in the northern part of Bethlehem lies the Salesian cluster. It exemplifies the type of buildings which were erected in the late nineteenth century by various religious denominations at the edges or outside the traditional quarters, and the services they provided the population. It also exemplifies the…
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