Old City Market
The Old City market is a cacophony of color, sounds and aromas, you will see clothes, ceramics, fresh fruit and vegetables, sweets and candy, jewelry, oriental items and hooka pipes. Stop for a glass of freshly squeezes orange juice and haggle over your purchases.
Church of the Holy Sepulchre
In the Christian Quarter of the Old City this cavernous 4th century basilica is where you can see the 11th and 12th stations of the Via Dolorosa. It is built over the site where Jesus was crucified at Golgotha. The church has many different altars, chapels and highlights like the stone of Anointing where Jesus’ body was prepared for burial, the Altar of the Crucifixion and the Rock of Calvary. In the church you can also see graffiti which dates back to the Crusader Era.
The route Jesus took carrying his cross, through the Old City from the Lion’s Gate to the site where the Church of the Holy Sepulchre now stands at Golgotha. Along the Via Dolorosa Jesus stopped several times and these stations are marked along the route which takes you through the streets of the Old City.
The Western Wall
The Western Wall (or Wailing Wall) is what remains of the Second Temple which once stood on Temple Mount and was destroyed in 70AD. It is the most important site in Judaism, people come to pray at the wall and place prayer notes in the cracks of the wall’s large stones.
Manger Square in Bethlehem is where St. Catharine Church (where the Christmas Eve Midnight Mass is held) and the Church of the Nativityare located. The square gets its name from the manger where Jesus was born which is believed to have been on the site of the Church of the Nativity.
Church of Nativity
This Bethlehem church is built over the grotto where Jesus is said to have been born. The church dates back to 339 and is known for the magnificent architecture, historic floor mosaics and the ancient grottos beneath the church.
Church of St. Catherine
Located on Manger Square in Bethlehem next to the Church of the Nativity, this is one of the oldest churches in the region and where the annual Midnight Mass is held on Christmas Eve by the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem. The Midnight Mass is televised across the globe and watched on large screens on Manger Square.
In the fields outside of Bethlehem Shepherds watched their flocks by night on Christmas Eve just over 2000 years ago. At the site is a cave used as a church in the 4th century and you can still see traces of the ancient mosaics and frescoes on the walls.