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Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem
Outstanding Universal Value
Bethlehem lies 10 kilometres south of the city of Jerusalem, in the fertile limestone hill country of the Holy Land. Since at least the 2nd century AD people have believed that the place where the Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem, now stands is where Jesus was born. One particular cave, over which the first Church was built, is traditionally believed to be the Birthplace itself. In locating the Nativity, the place both marks the beginnings of Christianity and is one of the holiest spots in Christendom. The original basilica church of 339 AD (St Helena), parts of which survive below ground, was arranged so that its octagonal eastern end surrounded, and provided a view of, the cave. This church is overlaid by the present Church of the Nativity, essentially of the mid-6th century AD (Justinian), though with later alterations. It is the oldest Christian church in daily use[I1] . Since early medieval times the Church has been increasingly incorporated into a complex of other ecclesiastical buildings, mainly monastic. As a result, today it is embedded in an extraordinary architectural ensemble, overseen by members of the Greek Orthodox Church, the Custody of the Holy Land and the Armenian Church, under the provisions of the Status Quo of the Holy Places established by the Treaty of Berlin (1878).
During various periods over the past 1700 years, Bethlehem and the Church of the Nativity have been, and still are, a pilgrim destination. The eastern end of the traditional route from Jerusalem to the Church, known as the Pilgrimage route, marks the road that connects the traditional entrance of Bethlehem, near King David’s Wells with the Church of the Nativity, and extends along the Star Street through the Damascus Gate, or Qos Al-Zarara, the historical gate of the town, towards the Manger Square. The Route continues to be celebrated as the path followed by Joseph and Mary during their trip in Bethlehem during Christmas ceremonies each year, and is followed ceremonially by Patriarchs of the three churches at their several Christmases, and during their official visits to Bethlehem.
The outstanding universal value of the Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem, lies, in its association with the birthplace of the founder of a great religion, which for Believers saw the Son of God made man in Bethlehem.
And for the way the fabric of the Church of the Nativity and its associations have combined to reflect the extraordinary influence of Christianity in spiritual and political terms over 1500 years.
Criterion (iv): The Church of the Nativity is an outstanding example of an early church in a remarkable architectural ensemble; which illustrates two significant stages in human history in the 4th-6th centuries AD the conversion of the Roman Empire to Christianity, which led to the development of the Church of the Nativity on the site believed to be associated with the birth of Jesus; and to the power and influence of Christianity in the period of the Crusades that led to the embellishment of the Church of the Nativity and the development of three major convents in its environs.
Criterion (vi): The Church of the Nativity, and the Pilgrimage Route to it, are directly associated with the birth of Jesus, an event of outstanding universal significance, through the buildings of which were constructed in the 4th century AD and re-constructed in the 6th century AD. These are a strong symbol for more than 2 billion Christian believers in the world; and are Holy to Christians as well as to Muslims.
The property encompasses the Church of the Nativity and its architectural ensemble, which is composed of the Armenian, Franciscan and Greek Orthodox Convents, as well as an area of terraced land to the east and a short stretch of the Pilgrimage Route. It thus includes all the buildings that form the focus of pilgrimage and the cave that is believed to be the birthplace of Jesus. It thus includes all the buildings that form the focus of pilgrimage and the cave that is believed to be the birthplace of Jesus.
The small area of land to the east that is directly associated with the ensemble, is known to contain as yet systematically unexamined and largely undisturbed evidence of occupation and burial from the early centuries AD back to at least the mid-2nd millennium BC.
The approach to the Church via Star Street and Paul VI Street retains the street width and line fossilized by urban development since c. 1800 AD. This ‘width and line’, as well as defining a working street in a busy town, now formalize a commemorative route for a religious ceremony. The traditional 19th and 20th yellow limestone buildings either side of this route incorporate traditional design and appearance, with living accommodation above and workshops at street level opening out on to the street. These are not part of the property but need to be protected and conserved as part of the approach to the church.
The roof structure of the main Church is highly vulnerable to lack of maintenance and repair. The sharp increase in the number of vehicles, inadequate parking, and small industries within the historic town have produced a polluted environment that is negatively affecting the façades of both the Church of the Nativity and the buildings along the Pilgrimage Route.
Great urban pressure is acknowledged in the surrounding urban areas, to which largely unregulated tourism and traffic contribute. New constructions, some large, are disturbing the traditional urban fabric near the Church of the Nativity and are having a negative impact on views to and from the property ,and on its sense of place and spiritual associations.
Located on the spot believed to be the Birthplace of Jesus Christ for some 2000 years, the Church of the Nativity is one of the most sacred Christian sites in the world since at least the 4th century AD up to the present. The sanctity of the site is maintained by the three churches occupying it. The construction of the church in 339 AD above the grotto, and its reconstruction in 533 AD, commemorates the birth of Jesus and attests to seventeen hundred years-long tradition of belief that this grotto was indeed the birthplace of Jesus Christ.
The association of the place that was believed to be the birthplace of Jesus is documented from the 4th century AD and from then on the buildings added to it have been constructed to enhance this religious significance. The majority of the existing church today dates beck to the 6th century AD, but retains part of the 4th century floor and some parts of its walls and columns, and have 12th century and later additions that are obvious in the icon painting on the columns of the church. The 12th century additions reflect the Crusades that led to one of the upsurges in pilgrimage activity.
From medieval times the church has been supported by monastic communities for which there is strong material evidence. The buildings of one of the monastic complexes date back to at least the 12th century while there is evidence under the others for earlier monastic buildings dating to the 12th century. Apart from the Armenian Convent, most of their current apparent structures date from the 19th and 20th centuries.
All elements of the church associated with the original church, its re-building in the 6th century, and its alterations in the 12th century need to be clearly identified and a conservation plan agreed to ensure repair and restoration respect as much as possible of the existing fabric that is crucial to understanding its significance.
The Church of the Nativity and its monastic complexes and the town of Bethlehem developed in tandem over the centuries. The current lack of control of development, traffic and tourism in the immediate urban surroundings of the Church is threatening this relationship and the ability of the property to convey fully its spiritual links. The exceptionally high number of people within the Church of the Nativity at any one time is impacting adversely on the conservation of the fabric The sharp increase in the number of vehicles, inadequate parking, and small industries within the historic town, have produced a polluted environment that is negatively affecting the façades of both the Church and the buildings along the Pilgrimage Route.
Protection and management requirements
The Church of the Nativity is managed under the terms and provisions of the ‘Status Quo of the Holy Places’, which is implemented by the three churches occupying the place; the Greek Orthodox Church, the Custody of the Holy Land and the Armenian Patriarchate. The management is currently supplemented by an advisory committee formed by the Palestinian President. Each of the three adjacent Convents is maintained under its own arrangement: the Armenian Convent is controlled by the Armenian Patriarchate in the Holy City of Jerusalem; the Greek Orthodox Convent by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in the Holy City of Jerusalem; and the Franciscan Convent and the Church of St Catherine by the Custody of the Holy Land, Holy City of Jerusalem.
A technical plan for the restoration of the roof of the Church of the Nativity has been developed by the advisory committee that was formed by the Palestinian president in full cooperation with the three churches in charge of the church. Intervention to restore the roof of the church was indicated as a priority by the international team who worked on the plan, and the works are expected to start during the year.
A Conservation Strategy needs to be developed for the Church of the Nativity to guide the repair and restoration of the roof and future conservation interventions in order to optimise retention of the fabric relating to the 4th, 6th and 12th century interventions. Such a Strategy should synthesize the conclusions of the detailed investigative reports into a clear statement of the significances of the various elements within a comprehensive conservation philosophy for the proposed work. Conservation Plans also need to be developed for the other ecclesiastical buildings.
The second main component, the Pilgrimage Route, principally Star Street, is part of the Municipality of Bethlehem and is therefore covered by the provisions of ‘Building and Planning Law 30, 1996’, of ‘the ‘Bethlehem Charter 2008’, of the ‘Guidelines for the Conservation and Rehabilitation of the Historic Towns of Bethlehem, Beit Jala and Beit Sahour, 2010, and of the ‘General Rules for the Protection of the Historic Area and Historic Individual Buildings, Bethlehem, 2006’. Protection’, ‘Conservation’, and ‘Rehabilitation’ are the stated objectives of the last two enactments, and the ‘Charter’, which embodies a statement of principles as well as working practices to achieve those objectives. Nevertheless stronger controls are needed to ensure that the urban context of the property is not eroded. This area is now an Area under Planning, and any interventions are forbidden until the adoption the conservation and management plan and the bylaws that are currently being prepared by CCHP in cooperation with Bethlehem Municipality and MoTA.
A Management Plan will be developed for the overall property by the Committee set up to oversee the roof repairs and this should define an overall management system for the property. This Plan needs to address the urban pressure on the property, tourism and traffic management, protection of views, and the conservation of buildings along the pilgrimage route. The Plan also needs to address the better management of visitors, as the provision of facilities for visitors are impacting adversely on the fabric of the surrounding town.
The municipality of Bethlehem and the Centre for Cultural Heritage Preservation in Bethlehem, in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities and the Ministry of Local Government are working on preparing conservation and management plans for the historic town of Bethlehem. The works are being implanted under the Heritage For Development Project, which is being funded by the European Commission, are expected to finish in December 2013; upon the completion of the works a conservation plan for the historic town of Bethlehem that includes bylaws for intervention within the historic town, a management plan for the historic town and a manual for interventions shall be at indorsed by Bethlehem municipality. In addition, the team of the municipality is involved in the planning process, and is expected to have the full capacity for the handling of the outputs of the project.
Cordoba (Spain) – all about the city, attractions and photos of Cordoba
City of Cordoba (Spain)
Cordoba is a city in southern Spain, the capital of the province of the same name. Located in the autonomy of Andalusia on the slopes of the Sierra Morena on the right bank of the Guadalquivir River. Cordoba is an ancient city with a unique Moorish atmosphere, sometimes referred to as the “Western Mecca”. It is a charming labyrinth of narrow winding streets, whitewashed houses adorned with flowers, and some of the most magnificent Muslim buildings in Europe. Cordoba was founded by the Romans. And in the Middle Ages it was one of the largest capitals in Europe, surpassing even Rome and Paris. nine0013
- Geography and climate
- Information for tourists
- The best visit time
- How to get
- Corg 9004 located in the center of Andalusia in Southern Spain. To the north of the city are the hills (some call them mountains) of the Sierra Morena. Their average height is about 400 meters. The city is located in the basin of the Guadalquivir River. nine0013
The climate is Mediterranean. Winters are usually mild. Although sometimes there are frosts due to the distance from the coast. Summers are very hot, with significant diurnal thermal fluctuations and maximum temperatures that are among the highest in Europe.
- Population – 325.9 thousand people. The third most populous city in Andalusia and the twelfth in Spain.
- Area – 1253 square kilometers.
- Language – Spanish.
- Currency – Euro.
- Visa – Schengen.
- Time – Central European UTC +1, summer +2.
- Tourist Information Centers are located at: C/ Rey Heredia, 22 – Antiguo Colegio Julio Romero de Torres and C/ Torrijos, 10.
The best time to visit
October. In summer it is very hot here and temperatures above 40 degrees are not rare.
The settlement on the site of Cordoba has been known since the time of the Phoenicians. In the 3rd century BC, it was captured by the Romans. Under Emperor Augustus, Cordoba became the center of the Roman province of Baetica. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the city was conquered by the Vandals, then by the Visigoths and Byzantium.
In 711, the Arabs and Berbers captured the Iberian Peninsula. In 756 Cordoba became the capital of the Umayyad Caliphate. During their reign, the city reached the peak of its power and development. By the 10th century, Cordoba had become one of the largest cities in Europe, a center of Arabic science and culture. During this period, the population of the city approached one million. nine0013 Streets of Cordoba
In 1031 the Caliphate of Cordoba collapsed. In 1070, Cordoba was captured by the emir of Seville. After that, the city lost its importance. In 1263 Cordoba became part of the Kingdom of Castile. Today it is one of the best preserved ancient cities in Spain, with an extensive historical center and UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
How to get there
Córdoba Airport has almost no scheduled commercial flights. The nearest major airports are in Seville, Malaga and Madrid. From the airports of these cities, by train or bus, you need to get to the main stations, and from there you can easily get to Cordoba. nine0013
The railway station is located in the northern part of the historical center. There is a bus station across the road. High-speed trains run to Madrid, Seville, Malaga and even Barcelona. Regular bus service is available from almost every city in Andalusia, as well as the capital of Spain.
Córdoba’s main shopping area is located near Plaza de las Tendillas. Of the traditional products, ceramics and jewelry are in demand.
Panorama of the historical center
Cordoba is one of the gastronomic capitals of Andalusia, a delightful blend of traditional Spanish and Oriental cuisine. Typical dishes: salmorejo and gazpacho, beans and asparagus with scrambled eggs, lamb casserole, roast suckling pig, stewed ox tail, flamenquins (ham slices stuffed with cheese), artichokes with pork loin. Olive oil and excellent local wine are the perfect accompaniment to this delicious kitchen.
Panorama of Cordoba
The old city of Cordoba has preserved the unique sights of the Arab period. The most grandiose monument is the Mesquite.
The Mesquite or Great Mosque is a masterpiece of Islamic architecture and is considered one of the most striking monuments of Moorish heritage in Spain. The construction of the mosque began in the 8th century. It has expanded several times throughout its history. The mosque was rebuilt into a Christian cathedral in 1523. Despite this, the building has retained many of the original elements and structure. The contrast between Christian and Islamic architecture serves as a reminder of Cordoba’s multicultural past. nine0013 Interior of the Mezquita
The structure is famous for its “forest” of columns (of which there are more than 800), crowned with red and white stripes and Arabic-style arches. The Puerta del Perdon gate leads to the picturesque Patio de los Naranjos, which is lined with orange and palm trees. The massive bell tower on the north side of the building replaced the minaret in the 16th century.
The Roman Bridge or Puerto Romano is one of the symbols of the city. This ancient bridge consists of 16 arches. It was built after Caesar’s victory over Pompey the Great. The medieval bridge was built during the Umayyad period on a Roman foundation. nine0013
The tangle of narrow medieval streets surrounding the Mezquita hide other interesting sights of Córdoba.
Old Jewish Quarter
Juderia – Old Jewish Quarter. This is one of the most atmospheric places in the old city with narrow streets, old houses, cozy flowering courtyards and quiet small squares. This area has a special charm. There are two important Jewish monuments here: the 15th century Mudéjar synagogue and the Casa de Sefarad museum.
Palais de Viana
Palazzo de Viana is an aristocratic palace famous for its patios designed in the Andalusian style with decorative fountains and lush landscaping.
Alcazar de los Reyes
Alcazar de los Reyes is a castle of the Christian Monarchs, located near the Roman bridge. This is one of the oldest places in the city, where you can even find traces of the ancient Roman past. This former palace was home to the Moorish rulers of Córdoba until the city was conquered by the Castilian kings. In front of the main building is a square where Christian martyrs were executed during the caliphate. Some of the ancient defensive walls and towers of the castle date back to the Moorish era, but most, including the tower of the Inquisition, were built later, when the monarchs of Castile improved the citadel. The Alcazar is a typical example of Andalusian architecture, which consists of various halls and picturesque courtyards. The fortress museum contains a collection of antiquities, including fine Roman mosaics. Inside the ancient walls are beautiful Arabic-style gardens with decorative pools and fountains. nine0013 Church of San Lorenzo
San Lorenzo is one of the most beautiful medieval churches in Cordoba. Like many ancient religious buildings in Andalusia, it was rebuilt from an old mosque. In front of the main entrance there is a portico with three arches. Other notable features are the tower built on top of the minaret of the former mosque. It is made in the style of the famous Seville Giralda. Inside there is a beautiful baroque altar and many paintings by Italian artists.
The Church of San Miguel was built after the Reconquista on the site of a Muslim mosque. The building contains Romanesque and Mudéjar features. nine0013
€ 104 for excursion
Riddles of masterpieces Prado
“Read” the symbols of the Goya and “Enjoyment Garden” and begin to better understand the history of Spain
in the Catalan mountains
Climbing the Montseny massif to the waterfalls and the 11th century church of Aiguafred de Dalt
Cordoba on the map of Spain
Video hotel on the map, official website
2nd line. Sandy. Municipal. Entrance to the sea: gentle. nine0013
Luggage storage, ticket service, tour desk, currency exchange, 24-hour front desk, family rooms, shops on site, shared lounge/TV area, no pets allowed, vending machine (drinks), car rental.
Ceiling fan, coffee/tea maker, furnished balcony, bathroom, hair dryer, TV, cable/satellite TV, telephone, full size refrigerator and freezer, microwave, kitchen, stove, kitchenware, crockery and cutlery, safe. nine0013
WiFi is available in the entire hotel and charges apply.
Diving. Hiking. Golf course (within 3 km). Open pool. Bike rental.
Billiards. Organization of excursions. Park area at the hotel.
Restaurants and bars
Snack bar. Bar.
Calle Arquitecto Gomez Cuesta, 6
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Globales Acuario 2*
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