Church of the Nativity
|Collection||Byzantine Research Fund|
Harvey, Mr William
|Scope and Content||Close view of wall showing present, crusading and original opening to the building. Parts of lintel and cornice at the top. The photograph is annotated in ink at the bottom: 'PROPORTIONS OF PRESENT, CRUSADING + ORIGINAL OPENINGS TO CHURCH. ANCIENT LINTEL ARCH + TRUSS OF CORNICE AT TOP OF PICTURE'. It is initialed in pencil (W.H.) at the back. See also photo no. 02/13/19/03 (BRF no 02/03/01/14).|
|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.