Attractions in Bethlehem
Manger Square Bethlehem
This vast esplanade between the Mosque of Omar and the Church of the Nativity constitutes the tourist centre of Bethlehem. The square as well as much of the Old city underwent renovation from 1998 to 2000. Many events throughout the year take place here, culminating in Christmas Eve, or eves, since the birth of Jesus is celebrated three times: on December 25 by Catholics, January 7 by the Orthodox, and January 19 by Armenians. There are frequent cultural exhibitions, concerts and conferences at the Bethlehem Peace Centre at the square (Tel: 02-276 6677 ww.peacecenter.org) and at the nearby International Centre of Bethlehem (www.annadwa.org, Tel: 02-2770047) just off the square, housing the Al-Kahf Gallery and the Dar Annadwa Arts & Crafts Centre (open daily except Sunday 9:30-19:00) which are well worth a visit.