Sunrise over Bethlehem, considered to be the place of Jesus’ birth, today a Palestinian town in the West Bank of Jerusalem where Muslims and Christians live side-by-side.
The Western or Wailing Wall is one of the holiest sites in Jerusalem for Jews. It is the last remaining part of what is called the Temple Mount, believed to have been constructed around 19 BC by Herod the Great. Herod’s Temple was destroyed by the Roman Empire in 70 AD.
Whereas tacos are common street food here in Baja, in this region falafel is king – with many street vendors advertising their particular falafel to be ‘the best.’ This photo was taken just before trying ‘the best falafel in Bethlehem’ – it did not disappoint.
The ‘security wall’ that surrounds Bethlehem and winds its way through the West Bank. Local artists and visitors have taken to creating ‘art’ upon it – including world famous graffiti artist Banksy, who is thought to have contributed the image of the Christmas Tree surrounded by the security wall.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is on the site believed to be the location of the crucifixion of Jesus by the Roman authorities. Because it is a holy site shared in common by multiple Christian traditions who were not always able to get along with one another, the key to the door is actually held by a Muslim family, to ensure that it remains open to all. The ladder under the right hand window is known as the ‘immovable ladder’ and has remained in place since the 18th century. The ladder is to remain in place until the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church reach a state of ‘ecumenism’ (getting along with each other) – something that has just been made possible by the invitation of Pope Francis for a coming together of the two churches in 2025 to celebrate the 1700th year of their separation from one another.