Church of the Nativity

Department Archive
Collection Byzantine Research Fund
Reference No. BRF/02/03/01/048
Level Item
Place Bethlehem
Dates 1908
Donor/Creator Harvey, Mr William
Scope and Content Interior view of the north apse from the south (closer view). The photograph is annotated and dated in ink at the back: 'NORTH APSE OF BASILICA BETHLEHEM (FROM S. APSE). 1908'. See also photos nos 02/13/28/02 (BRFno 02/03/01/49) and 02/13/28/03 (BRFno 02/03/01/50).
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.