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Bethlehem the birthplace of Jesus offers a spiritually rewarding experience to Christians traveling to the holy land. The Palestinian city located in the West Bank is home to one of the oldest Christian communities in the world, although the size of the community has dwindled due to emegration. The city also known as Beit Lahm, Beit Sahur, Bet Lehem, Betar, Beth-Lehem, and several other names as well as the “City of David” since the Hebrew Bible identifies it as the city David was from and where he was crowned as the king of Israel.

One of the important places in the scripture you will visit during your Christian tour of Israel is Bethlehem, where according to tradition Mary gave birth to Jesus in a cave, and where it’s currently marked by a star in the Byzantine church the Church of the Nativity that commemorates the birth of Jesus. Scriptures do not mention the existence of a cave, however it was during these times custom to build houses in front of caves, which provided additional shelter for animals and storage space.