Bethlehem, which is situated six miles south from Jerusalem, is the most visited place because of the birthplace of Jesus. Thousands of pilgrims and visitors visit the Church of Nativity which is considered as the oldest Church of this Holy Land. Bethlehem’s economy is largely dependent on its tourism. Not only the Christian religious people visit the place out of their faith but also people from all aspects visit the place considering as a holy land.
The peak time of Bethlehem Holy Land Tours is the Christmas season because, on that time, the Christians believe in making the pilgrimage to the Church of Nativity which they are doing for about thousands of years. The Church of Nativity is considered as the traditional birthplace of Christ. Bethlehem is under Palestinian jurisdiction and this is where the oldest Christian community belongs to. But in recent years, a large portion of the population is Muslim here as well. Not only the Christians but also the Jewish pilgrims visit Bethlehem for their holy site-seeing which is named as Rachel’s Tomb.
If you are going to visit Bethlehem on the holy land tours especially, you will require at least a day to visit completely all the must-see sites. The Church of Nativity is not the only attraction of Bethlehem but there are more places to explore here.
Milk Grotto: This is the place where the Holy Family found a safe place to take shelter when the slaughter of the innocents occurred. It was threatening their lives too. It is believed that the cave’s stones are white because a drop of Virgin Mary’s milk fell on the floor of the cave while nursing her child Jesus here for a short time and it turned out all white.
Herodium: It is claimed that Herod the Great was buried here at the top of Herodium. This place is filled with truncated cone and looks like a volcanic hill. Herod built here a fortress, which is now more than 2000 years’ old and it is about 758 meters above from the sea level.
The Shepherd Fields: Christians believe that in the fields of Beit Sahour in the ancient period, the shepherds saw the Star of Nativity and they followed that to the Bethlehem. There are several Catholic and Greek Orthodox Churches and you will encounter about 2000 years’ old olive trees here.
Mar Saba Monastery and Bethlehem Museums: This is a Greek Orthodox Monastery and women are restricted to allowed here. There are several museums in Bethlehem such as International Nativity Museum, Olive Oil Museum, and Palestine Heritage Center etc.
There are more religious sites to encounter in Bethlehem if you are on the Holy Land Tours. Bethlehem is the ultimate place that will give you the feel of the ancient period. Each of its streets, buildings, and architectural works are amazing. However, pay respect to this Holy Land while visiting here no matter which religion you belong to.