The Church of St. Catherine, Bethlehem

#2 of 10 in Historic Sites in Bethlehem
Ruin · Historic Site
A Franciscan monastery and parish church for Bethlehem's Catholics, The Church of St. Catherine sits atop an underground maze of Crusader caves. The Gothic Revival church has evolved from a small 14th-century convent and makes up a World Heritage Site together with the neighboring 6th-century church and Christian pilgrimage route. Enter through the preserved Crusader arches into the basilica, noting the nativity scenes depicted in the surrounding stained glass windows. Descend a narrow stairway to glimpse the underground system of ancient tombs, Augustinian monastery, and Crusader chapel. The church is famed for holding Bethlehem's annual televised Christmas Eve midnight mass. Make The Church of St. Catherine part of your personalized Bethlehem itinerary using our Bethlehem trip planning app.
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  • Lovely, light and airy, The Church of St. Catherine houses a small relic fragment of the manger, gifted to the Church in 2019. Look for the beautiful ancient floor mosaics as you tour the church...  more »
  • In a region full of beautiful, ancient places of worship, this church stands out. Best experienced during mass. Stick around afterwards to drink in the history.  more »

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