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“A must see.”

Church of the Nativity
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Bethlehem and Jericho Tour From Jerusalem
Ranked #2 of 33 things to do in Bethlehem
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Built over the Grotto of the Nativity by Constantine in 325 A.D., destroyed and rebuilt in the 6th century and renovated in the 11th century by the crusaders, this is the oldest Church in the Holy Land that is still in use.
Reviewed June 7, 2013

The Church of the Nativity is a must see when visiting Israel. While it is, as some people have pointed out, disorganized and chaotic, that is to be expected when visiting such an historical spot, considering the number of visitors. We visited in April, and I think the crowds were a bit better than many have described. Go with a guide to get the most out of the visit and to move through the more crowded areas. Just to be in this historic place is amazing. As a Catholic this was a pilgrimage, but the history is amazing no matter what religion. Also, the experience of traveling through the checkpoints and visiting is interesting. The church itself is somewhat unassuming in it's architecture, but the interior decoration varies from simple to opulent.

Thank CindyBaltimore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"under renovation"
in 41 reviews
"silver star"
in 35 reviews
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in 41 reviews
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in 14 reviews
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in 45 reviews
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842 - 846 of 1,655 reviews

Reviewed June 5, 2013

The church is very old and lots of beautiful details, the floor tiles date back to the 4th century, but is cluttered with rosary beads, and christmas ornamanents hanging off the chandeliers. I was looking forward to visiting but overwhelmed with the crowds lined up in a disorganized manner to enter the grotto to visit the site where Jesus was born (denoted by a silver star on the ground). I felt very claustrophobic. By the way, do not sit down and cross your legs. After entering the grotto, I had to sit down, I simply crossed my leg to give it a good stretch, and I got yelled at for it is not permitted to cross your legs in the church... be aware of your behaviour.

Thank CatGal_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 31, 2013

It is amazing to think that this was identified as the spot Jesus was born back in abut 300 CE by the mother in law of Constantine. I would score it higher but for the in fighting between Christian denominations for control of the building, and the crowds. Definitely hire a local tour guide for the walk through. Don't just drop in from a bus from Jerusalem and think his is still part of Israel - it isn't. Take time to walk around the area surrounding the church to get a feel of the community,

Thank Chris J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 30, 2013

I am not catholic but I was looking forward to seeing an old church with possibly a great deal of historical and biblical significance. When our group arrived I found the church small, dirty, filled with smoke from a service going on and the site was VERY small, crowded and hot! I was NOT impressed and would not waste my time there if I were to visit Israel again.

Thank Talbertenator
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 30, 2013

A site worth visiting, and I imagine much more meaningful to those of the Christian faith. We waited online for almost 2 hours before descending to the spot where Jesus was allegedly born. It was complete madness - there is no organization at all, people were cutting in front of others, shoving each other - not a very gdly or respectful way to act!

Thank delphi927
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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