Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

One of the most important shrines of the Christians is the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.He erected on the site of the birth of the Savior.Every year in this ancient city many pilgrims flocked.In addition to the caves, where upon arrival at Bethlehem, Mary and Joseph stopped, here you can see the field Pastushkov, Milk Grotto, and several other attractions.

Gospel events

According to the Old Testament, Christ was born in the year 5508 from creation.When Mary bore in her womb the Saviour, they, along with her husband Joseph went from Nazareth, which is home to the city of Bethlehem, located near Jerusalem.They did this because the then Roman emperor ordered a census.Therefore, every citizen of the country had come to the city where he was born.Mary's husband was from Bethlehem.

arrived in the city, the Virgin and Joseph found no room in the inn.So they were forced to stay in a cave on the outskirts, where the shepherds sheltered from the elements sheep.Here I was born and Jesus Christ.It came here to worship the future savior, first the shepherds, the wise men followed.

Roman sanctuary

course, Catholic and Orthodox churches began to build in Jerusalem and Bethlehem, much later, the crucifixion and ascension of Christ.In the second century the Romans built over the place of his birth, a temple dedicated to Adonis.This god, along with Persephone, was regarded as the personification of the seasons.Of course, a pagan temple at the birthplace of the founder of a new religion from the perspective of Christian believers - is not very good.However, due to this construction, the cave of Bethlehem has been preserved for posterity.

construction of the temple

After a couple of centuries above the cave in which the Saviour was born, put a small Christian basilica.Erected it in 339, Helena, mother of the Byzantine Emperor Constantine the Great, after visiting these places with the holy pilgrimage.Just above the cave was built a small building with a conical roof.On top of it staged opening.Through him, the pilgrims can explore the birthplace of Christ.

history of the church is very much the first temple suffered during the Samaritan revolt.He was restored about 550 century emperor Julian.During the reconstruction it was significantly expanded.In addition, it was arranged the so-called Holy Nativity - the descent into the cave itself.

In 1717, the place where Jesus was born, it was noted 14-pointed star that has become a symbol of Bethlehem.Top inflicted inscription: "Here the Virgin Mary gave birth to Christ."Above it is nowadays done every day liturgy.Especially for this are assembled marble throne.Next to it is the descent into the nursery, in which Mary laid after the birth of the Savior.

Church of the Nativity (Bethlehem), a photo which you can see on the page - the oldest building with a very interesting history.According to the legend, during the invasion of the Persians (the 12th century) in the country survived only this small church.The conquerors did not destroy it because of the fact that its walls were painted the Magi.They took them by the priests of the Zoroastrian god of the sun.This random salvation temple is considered one of the wonders of Christianity.At the moment, the Basilica of the Savior above the cave is the oldest church in Palestine.

historical value

Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem is of great interest not only for believers, but also for historians.For example, there are still fragments of Byzantine mosaic floor and the ceiling supported by columns the time of Justinian.Last made of sandstone and polished so skillfully that seems marbled.Wall mosaics and paintings on the columns made in 1143-1180 gg.Very well-preserved fragments of 11 ecumenical councils.

installed before the altar pulpit dates from the time of the Crusaders (12-13 cc.).It has historical value and the iconostasis of the ancient temple.We manufacture it in Greece in the 18th century.Chandeliers were donated to the temple of the Russian Emperor Nicholas II and Alexander III.The bells of the church as Russian.

field Pastushkov

course, Church of the Nativity is really of great interest to Orthodox believers.However, no less popular, and some of the other attractions of Bethlehem.Near the temple is another quite interesting church.At the spot where once the shepherds saw the shining angels announced the birth of the divine child, the same Queen Helena built a small church.However, it was subsequently destroyed.Underground Temple also remained intact and operates to this day.In the box next to the trees, some of which have been preserved here, according to tradition, from the time of Christ.

Dungeon babies

visited by pilgrims, not only church in Bethlehem, but another very interesting Christian shrine.Near the southern entrance to the basilica is a staircase leading to the cave in which are buried the bones of infants.According to legend, the king ordered them to kill Herod was angry with the wise men who told him about the birth of Christ, but did not say exactly where it happened.Once these children were buried in Bethlehem.In order to know where their tomb, Elena sent Bethlehem rabbi embroidered apparel.Grateful priest showed her burial place.Having learned where the tomb of the children, Helen put on her tomb.

Milk Grotto

Next to the temple is also called the Milk Grotto.It belongs to the Catholic Church.According to legend, in this place the Virgin nursed Christ.One drop of milk fell to the ground, and the rock in the same moment got white.This is the second well-known miracle of the church in Bethlehem.The Milk Grotto, among other things, you can see the icon of the Mother of God, Jesus feeding.

Gate humility

At present Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem belongs to the Greek Orthodox faith.Like all the churches of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, has been removed it is very beautiful.The main entrance is called the Gate of humility.During the Middle Ages two entrances to the church were walled up, and the main greatly reduced height.This was done so that the inside could not get the enemy horsemen.Since then, at the entrance to the temple the faithful are forced to bend.Hence the name of the main gate.

Miracle escape from Arabs

Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem - a historical monument, on which there is another very interesting legend.On one of the columns in the church there are several recesses, forming a cross.It is believed that this should be the miracle that took place in the church centuries ago.Once, during one of his attacks of sudden, the Arabs broke into the temple.Wait for help to people being in it was nowhere.And then they began to pray.And requests them to be heard.From one of the columns suddenly flew a swarm of wasps, and began to sting the Arabs and their horses.As a result, the invaders had to leave the temple and left alone occupants.

Orthodox churches are available in many countries around the world.And everywhere they hit their magnificent decorations and the phenomenon of people miracles.Bethlehem Church in this regard is no exception.This ancient basilica, of course, of great interest both for the faithful and for historians.