Church of the Nativity

Department Archive
Collection Byzantine Research Fund
Reference No. BRF/02/03/01/009
Level Item
Place Bethlehem
Dates 1907
Creator Harvey, Mr William
Scope and Content West gable and narthex parapet, portion of wall of the Armenian monastery from the Franciscan roof looking south. The photograph is dated and annotated in ink at the back: 'West gable + parapet of Narthex + part of wall of Armenian Monastery from Franciscan Roof looking south. 1907'.
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.