Bethlehem: Follow the Star

Bethlehem lies 2500 feet above sea level on the ancient caravan route 10 km south of Jerusalem. Surrounded by rolling hills stretching out eastward to the Judean Desert, Bethlehem provides a remarkable view of an ancient landscape of vineyards, olive trees, and small historic villages. As the birthplace of Jesus Christ, Bethlehem's name evokes images of the infant Jesus and of the Magi and Shepherds coming to worship Him.Bethlehem is famous for its olive wood hand carving, holiday cards decorated with dried colored leaves, mother-of-pearl jewelry, and distinctive embroidery.Bethlehem's mother-of-pearl artifacts were first exhibited in the west at the World Fair in New York in 1852. Afterwards, owners developed their factories and introduced modern machines. Over the years, they developed their technique to an exquisite art. A variety of souvenir shops in Bethlehem offer tourists an assortment of Holy Land artifacts and jewelry.