Monday, August 2, 2010

Bethlehem- Church of the Nativity

The first "Starbucks" sighting in Israel!  haha  Stars & Bucks!
 We left Jerusalem, headed south into Palestine, and entered into Bethlehem.  We even had to switch tour guides because our Israeli guides were not allowed into Palestine. 
Everyone entered the Church of the Nativity through the "Door of Humility"... which proved to be quite difficult for those trying to sag their shorts.  Several of the churches had strict dress codes, but this one was by far the worst.  Check out the video below.
An underground cave below the basilica holds a shrine where Jesus is said to have been born.  The star above marks the exact place of his birth and another alter represents the place of the manger.

Luke 2:4-7
"So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn."
The original Roman style floor has been covered, but this trap door in the modern floor offers a glimpse of the beautiful Roman mosaic floor:

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