Asia | Destinations | Pinaytraveller | State of Palestine

Photo Diary: Greetings of Peace from Bethlehem

December 25, 2013

In Bethlehem, it seems that everyday is Christmas Day. After all, this is where the most famous birth story took place. But despite being the birthplace of the “Prince of Peace”, Bethlehem has been at the center of numerous territorial disputes for over two thousand years. That’s why this sign particularly struck me when I visited the city during a pilgrimage a couple of years ago.

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Bethlehem is also known as the City of David in the Hebrew Bible. But for Christians, it is an important pilgrimage site and is home to perhaps  one of the oldest Christian communities  in the world.

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Bethlehem in 1898.  “(…) Bethlehem. The picture shows a man and a woman approaching Bethlehem with a donkey. It was taken on Christmas Day, 1898. The photograph presents a scene reminiscent of Mary and Joseph, as they approached Bethlehem some 1900 years earlier.” (text from www.old-picture.com)

 

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Bethlehem today

Today, Bethlehem is under Palestenian rule and is perhaps one of its most popular tourist attractions, receiving more than two million tourists a year.

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The center of Bethlehem is its old city which consists of eight quarters, laid out in a mosaic style, forming the area around the Manger Square where the Church of Nativity is located. (source)  Walking around, it’s hard to imagine that this bustling city was once surrounded by endless fields and desert. But despite its modernity, one can catch glimpses of what the city may have looked like when Christ was born.

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Taybeh beer

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READ NEXT: The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem

 

 

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