Church of the Nativity

Department Archive
Collection Byzantine Research Fund
Reference No. BRF/02/03/01/025
Level Item
Place Bethlehem
Dates 1908
Donor/Creator Harvey, Mr William
Scope and Content Portion of south wall and apse (the junction). The photograph is annotated and dated in ink at the back: 'JUNCTION OF S. APSE WITH NAVE WALL. BETHLEHEM. 1908'. Further annotation in pencil survives. See also photos nos. 02/13/21/04 (BRF no 02/03/01/23) and 02/13/22/01 (BRF no 02/03/01/024).
Further information The church of the Nativity, Bethlehem, is a large five-aisled basilica with transept, narthex, a trefoil apse and two entrances leading to the cave of the Nativity. It was built by Justinian I between 560 and 603/5 on the ruins of the first church which had been erected by Constantine I on the site of the cave of the Nativity. The building was decorated with lavish mosaics by Manuel I Komnenos with the contribution of the Latin King and the Bishop of Jerusalem according to the text of the dedicatory inscription which also names a certain Ephraim as the mosaicist. The rare theme of the Ecumenical Councils decorates the side aisles.