The church is very old (4th century or so) and quite pretty inside with detailed ebony and ivory inlay decorations. From outside it’s just another building in an alleyway. You walk down a flight of steps to get to the door which shows how much the land has risen in the past 1700 years.
The main fascination with this church is that it was built on top of a cave where Mary and the infant Jesus lived for several months while they were fleeing King Herod. The cave is a further flight of steps below the church and is fenced off. You can crowd around the fence and see down into it but no pictures are allowed anywhere inside the church. Allow 30 minutes to look around and reflect on who was sleeping right where you are standing and probably learning to walk in the alleyways outside.
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