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Bethlehem

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Bethlehem (בית לחם) is a small city in the West Bank, and attracts millions of visitors every year for its historical and religious significance. Known in the Christian faith as the birthplace of Jesus, its attractions are chiefly religious, but are intriguing even for people outside of the faith. The most popular destination in Bethlehem is undoubtedly the Church of the Nativity (كنيسة المهد) on Manger Square. Allegedly the exact place of birth of Jesus, the church dates back to the Roman Emperor Constantine in 330 CE. While the actual structure is somewhat dark in appearance, the adjoining Franciscan Church of St. Catherine is in beautiful shape, and is definitely worth the visit. The second most visited attraction in Bethlehem is Rachel's tomb (קבר רחל), where the wife of Jacob was supposedly buried. Be aware that access to the tomb is limited for security reasons, but it is visible from the surrounding fortress.

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