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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Armenian Church at Church of the Nativity

The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem is divided between three groups: the Armenians, the Catholics, and the Greek Orthodox. There were only two of us in our group and our guide got us into an Armenian service that occurs only twice a year. The doorway on the back right of the lower photo is the entrance to the Grotto of the Nativity and after the service he took us down there.
The central nave has a mosaic floor that was from the original basilica built by Helena, the mother of Constantine, in the 4th century. The church has been rebuilt many times including in the 6th century by Justinian and by Crusaders in the 12th century.

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