Church of the Nativity

Department Archive
Collection Byzantine Research Fund
Reference No. BRF/02/03/01/030
Level Item
Place Bethlehem
Dates 1907-1909
Creator Harvey, Mr William
Scope and Content Junction, South wall of the basilica - Crusader (?) masonry. The photograph is annotated in pencil at the back: 'Greek Convent. S. Transept'. See also photos nos. 02/13/23/02 (BRFno. 02/03/01/029) and 02/13/23/04 (BRFno. 02/03/01/031).
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.