Manger Square, Bethlehem

In the west bank, about 10km south of Jerusalem a Palestinian City named Bethlehem has one of the top attractions called Manger Square. Two other attractions- the Church of St Catherine and the Church of Nativity are located on either side of Manger Square. This square adapted its name from the church of nativity which is adjacent to it and exalts the Grotto the Nativity (the “manger”) where Jesus was born however the square itself has no mention in the Bible. Manger Square, the heart of Bethlehem ‘s Old City is nexus for all tourist activity and the starting point of the most Bethlehem tours. This square is the locus of many events throughout the year. The 4th century Church Of Nativity, Church of St.Catherine; the Mosque of Omar; Bethlehem Municipality building; souvenir stores and the Bethlehem Peace Center are contiguous to the Square.

The square was an open space used as a fresh produce and livestock market during the Ottoman-era. This market was relocated to a new location in the Old City in the year 1929. It was renovated in 1998 and 2000. Since the renovations Manger square has been pedestrian-only and is the place for meeting for tourists and locals for tourists and locals. Trees present in the square ensure shelter, benches and fountains.

At the place of nativity, on the occasion of Christmas Eve, Christians gather from the whole world to commemorate the birth of Jesus. A midnight mass is held inside the Church of nativity while outside on Manger Square the service is aired on big screens. The Midnight Mass is also broadcasted all over the world to millions of Christians. 

Celebrations for Christmas are held here for three times every year; December 25th; for Orthodox Christian on January 7th and according to the Armenian Christian Tradition on January 19th.

Do you want to celebrate Christmas in Bethlehem’s Manger Square? Come join us in our Christmas Eve in Jerusalem & Midnight Mass in Bethlehem Tour.

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