Church of the Nativity

Department Archive
Collection Byzantine Research Fund
Reference No. BRF/02/03/01/028
Level Item
Place Bethlehem
Dates 1909
Creator Harvey, Mr William
Scope and Content South aisle wall looking east. The photograph is annotated and dated in ink at the back: 'S. APSE + GREEK CONVENT BETHLEHEM. 1909'. Futher annotation in pencil survives. See also photos nos. 02/13/22/03 (BRF no 02/03/01/26) and 02/13/22/04 (BRF no 02/03/01/027).
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.