Gruta de Natividad
Grotto of the Nativity - by Christian remittances it is the place where Jesus Christ was born. Currently Grotto is located in the crypt under the altar of the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem, built in the year 326 by st. Helena, mother of Constantine the Great. In the year 396 the emperor Honorius at the Grotto planted a grove, where Venus was worshiped.
The crypt can be reached by the stairs located on both sides of the altar of the basilica and from the Franciscan church of st. Catherine. It has the shape of a rectangle: 12.3 m long, 3.5 m wide and 3 m high. The cave is located in the center of the Orthodox altar, on which is placed 14-arm silver star with the Latin inscription: Hic de Virgine Maria Jesus Christus Natus Est. 1717 (here from the Virgin Mary, Jesus Christ was born 1717). Apart from the Greek Orthodox altar, there is a Catholic althar - the place of the symbolic manger, and in front the altar dedicated to Biblical Magi.