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Bethlehem Travel Guide: 119 reviews and 483 photos

BETHLEHEM

Bethlehem or in arabic BaytuLaḥm lit "House of Meat";in hebrew Beit Lehem, lit "House of Bread" is a Palestinian city in the central West Bank, approximately 10 kilometers (6 mi) south of Jerusalem, with a population of 30,000 people. It is the capital of the Bethlehem Governorate of the Palestinian National Authority and a hub of Palestinian culture and tourism.
Unfortunately today the city is surrounded by walls and Jews are forbidden to enter the city..

History

According to Christianity Bethlehem is the birthplace of Jesus of Nazareth and the town is inhabited by one of the oldest Christian communities in the world.However, we find in Mark, the oldest of all the gospels, passages that seem to imply the birthplace of Jesus as Nazareth in Galilee. According to Biblical tradition, the city is also believed to be the birthplace of David and the location where he was crowned as the king of Israel. The city was sacked by the Romans in 529 AD as a result of a revolt, and was rebuilt by the Byzantine emperor Justinian I. Bethlehem was conquered by the Islamic Caliphate of 'Umar ibn al-Khattâb in 637, who guaranteed safety for the city's religious shrines. In 1099, Crusaders captured and fortified Bethlehem and replaced its Greek Orthodox clergy with a Latin one. The Latin clergy were expelled after the city was captured by Saladin, the sultan of Eyyoubis. With the coming of the Mamluks in 1250, the city's walls were demolished, and were subsequently rebuilt during the rule of the Ottoman Empire.The Ottomans lost the city to the British during World War I and it was to be included in an international zone under the 1947 United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine. Jordan occupied the city in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and it was subsequently occupied by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War. Israel has retained control over the entrances and exits to Bethlehem, though day-to-day administration has been under the purview of the Palestinian National Authority since 1995

Three times Holly

Modern Bethlehem has a Muslim majority but is also home to one of the largest Palestinian Christian communities.It is birthplace of Jesus Christ, is three times holy. It contains the shrine of Rachel, it is here that the Prophet Muhammad prayed on his way to Jerusalem. He is reported as having said, "When I was taken on the Midnight Journey to Jerusalem, Gabriel took me to Bethlehem, saying, 'Alight and pray two raq'as, for here is the birthplace of your brother Jesus, peace be upon him', and then I was taken to the Rock.

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  • In a nutshell:Difficult to understand the fight between brothers
  • Last visit to Bethlehem: Feb 2008
  • Intro Updated Jun 30, 2010
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