Ashdod (Jerusalem), Israel
Information Not Currently Available
Approximately 6 Hours
The inscribed property is situated 10 km south of Jerusalem on the site identified by Christian tradition as the birthplace of Jesus since the 2nd century. A church was first completed there in ad 339 and the edifice that replaced it after a fire in the 6th century retains elaborate floor mosaics from the original building. The site also includes Latin, Greek Orthodox, Franciscan and Armenian convents and churches, as well as bell towers, terraced gardens and a pilgrimage route.Depart from Ashdod and drive up the Judean Hills to Bethlehem.
Visit the Church of Nativity, built in the Byzantine era above the place where Christ is said to have been born. The actual Cave of the Nativity is a small crypt with a vaulted masonry roof. Poor Bethlehem families used the rocky hollows of the region as stables or dwellings, so the tradition that places the Nativity in a cave is not at odds with the story of the manger.
After visiting the church, you will have some time to shop for souvenirs and enjoy a light lunch.
Leave Bethlehem and drive to the Sherover Promenade to take in a panoramic view of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount before you return to Ashdod.
Please note: Bring your passport when visiting Bethlehem; your guide in Bethlehem will be Palestinian. Expect congestion and lines with a long wait at the crypt. Entrance to the crypt is dependent upon the length of the lines and tour timing. Even if you have been waiting in line to enter, you may have to forgo the crypt visit if the tour timing requires that you continue to the next destination.