This 14-point sign marks the exact place where Jesus was born according to tradition
If one wants to discover the origin of Christmas, believer or not, sometime in life you must travel to Israel, cross the wall that marks the border with the West Bank and visit the mythical town of Belén. Without a doubt, it is one of the most frequented destinations during the Christmas season. During these dates, many activities and events are held, so if you plan to travel to Bethlehem during the Christmas holidays it is necessary to book well in advance.
During my month-long journey through the Middle East visiting Syria, Jordan, Israel and Egypt I approached the origins of Christianity by stepping on the ground that saw Jesus of Nazareth being born according to the Gospels of Luke and Matthew.
From Jerusalem I woke up very soon with the idea of visit Bethlehem and, if time allowed, some other destination in the West Bank as Hebron or Jericho. I headed towards the bus station in the eastern part of the city. Before arriving, right in front of the Damascus gate, I saw the bus 124 in progress that, according to the guide, was going to Bethlehem and I approached it. It cost me seven shequels and in just over 20 minutes we reached the separation wall where the bus stopped and left us all.
Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem
Really finding a similar wall in the 21st century is something that is difficult to understand and leaves the skin of one frozen. I met a couple of foreign girls who were also on the bus and together we went through the metal detector - one to one, of course - and passport inspection. The operation was quite fast - for us, not so much for the locals - and on the other side of the wall the taxi drivers were waiting to board us.
Bethlehem is a few kilometers from the wall and can be done on foot. However, being three we got into a taxi and for 15 shequels left us in the center of the city.EXCURSIONS BY ISRAEL IN SPANISH
Make the most of your time in Israel with one of the following guided tours in Spanish and with very good recommendations from its users:
- Full guided tour of Jerusalem
- Excursion to Masada and the Dead Sea
- Excursion to Nazareth, Tiberias and Galilee
- Excursion to Bethlehem and Jericho
If one expects to find in Bethlehem the typical bucolic and Christmas postcard with its meadow, mangers, oxen and shepherds it is wrong. Bethlehem is located in a desert area although the center is beautiful and probably one of the friendliest places in sight of those I've seen in Palestine. Tourism shows and acts positively in the place.
The center of Bethlehem is concentrated in the Manger Square, where in its easternmost part is the Church of the Nativity, the exact place where they say Jesus of Nazareth was born.