Bethlehem: The Rising Star of Christianity
Bethlehem is easily one of the three most significant cities for Christian’s around the world. While Jerusalem and Nazareth are beautiful destinations that should be on your Israel itinerary, you’d be remiss to skip out on Bethlehem before your trip is over. Here are a few highlights you’re going to love.
Church of the Nativity
This beautiful structure is impressively built with tall, grand windows and wide corridors, the Church of the Nativity is shaped like a cross for obvious symbolism. It also happens to be one of the oldest running churches around today.
St. Catherine’s Church
Moving down the block from that Church is St. Catherine’s Church. It has several lovely chapels including the Chapel of the Holy Innocents, the Chapel of St. Eusebius, and St. Joseph's Chapel.
Throughout the Slaughter of the Innocents, the Holy Family ran for cover. The Milk Grotto became their place of refuge for the duration of their hiding while Herod’s army went looking through the town, and it is located in the heart of Bethlehem. The exciting thing about this cave is the color. A pristine, chalky white color, the Milk Grotto became this way from a drop of milk that spilled onto the floor while the Virgin Mary nursed the baby Jesus, according to legend.
Possibly the most eventful place to visit in Bethlehem is Manger Square. Not only is the square filled with eateries, shops, and events, during the holiday season, Manger Square is filled with live Manger scenes, carolers, and other festivities. The Church of the Nativity is on the eastern side of the square.
Who could pass through Bethlehem without visiting this prominent location? The burial place of one of the founding mothers, Rachel’s Tomb is a significant place where millions of Jews and Christians converge to pray and beseech Mama Rachel to intervene on their behalf. Make sure you stop by and say a quick word at this holy spot.
There’s also Herodium, a convention center, museums, and so much more, so be sure you visit Bethlehem on your next trip!