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Bethlehem

Bethlehem

From the desert around Mar Saba, the Abraham Path meanders up the steep hills towards Bethlehem, the biblical birthplace of Jesus and hometown of King David. Home to a wide range of holy and historic sites, Bethlehem is a natural rest and recovery point for walkers and a pilgrimage destination for people from around the world.

After stopping to explore Bethlehem’s holy sites and their sometimes unexpected histories, walkers can continue south to Artas to find a convent and its gardens in the midst of a Muslim village; just a bit further on, they will come to the town of Tequa, which lies next to the ruins of an ancient city of the same name.

The names of places throughout the Bethlehem region may be familiar to many visitors, but the places themselves and the people who live there will surely offer a number of surprises and unexpected experiences.


Stages

Stage 1: Mar Saba to Bethlehem (15.3 km)
Stage 2: Bethlehem to Tequa (12.6 km)

Itineraries

Suggested Itineraries:
Day Hike: Walk from Bethlehem to Tequa (Stage 2) by Solomon’s Pools and the lush gardens of the Hortus Concluses Convent. Taxi back to Bethlehem from Tequa and enjoy an evening and overnight in the city of Jesus’ birth (12.6km, moderate).

Two Days: Hike from Mar Saba to Tequa for a taste of the Bethlehem region, including the isolated monasteries, the bustling historic city of Jesus’ birth, and the lush garden area of Artas said to be the setting of Song of Songs.

Blogs
Bethlehem region blogs:

Read stories from the Bethlehem region
in the Abraham Path blog

Video

Downloads

For walking in this region, the Masar Ibrahim is recommended. Find detailed resources on: www.masaribrahim.ps

Sites in the Bethlehem Region:

Bethlehem City

Bethlehem has long been a point of convergence for many who have journeyed in this region of the world. Get to know this complex and historically rich city.

Church of St. George

Christians and Muslims alike revere St. George at the church of Al-Khader, who remains a living symbol in Palestine and the center of a vibrant yearly festival.

Hortus Conclusus

On a walk through Wadi Artas, a lush garden greets visitors at the unconventional site of a Catholic convent in the center of a Muslim town.

Mosque of Omar

The elegant Mosque of Omar stands on the corner across from the Church of the Nativity, a long-standing symbol of cooperation and mutual respect between the Christians and Muslims of Bethlehem.

Nativity Church

For seventeen centuries the Nativity Church has attracted pilgrims from all over the world. Enter through its “door of humility” into one of Christianity’s most sacred places.

Shepherds’ Fields

Imagine watching over flocks of sheep by night in the traditional location of an angelic announcement of Jesus’s birth.