Exterior of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem - The church was originally commissioned in 327 AD by Constantine and his mother Helena

Exterior of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem - The church was originally commissioned in 327 AD by Constantine and his mother Helena

Franciscan Courtyard in the Church of the Nativity

Franciscan Courtyard in the Church of the Nativity

Corridors running alongside the Franciscan Courtyard

Corridors running alongside the Franciscan Courtyard

An altar on a wall showing a saint fighting a monster

An altar on a wall showing a saint fighting a monster

A visitor is entering to the Church of the Nativity through a small door - this is not the main door

A visitor is entering to the Church of the Nativity through a small door - this is not the main door

Another view of the small entry door to the Basilica

Another view of the small entry door to the Basilica

A trap door in the modern floor which opens up to reveal a portion of the original mosaic floor

A trap door in the modern floor which opens up to reveal a portion of the original mosaic floor

A priest passes in front of the Iconostasis of the Nativity Church - The main body of the Basilica are in the possession of the Greek Orthodox

A priest passes in front of the Iconostasis of the Nativity Church - The main body of the Basilica are in the possession of the Greek Orthodox

Entering the Grotto of the Nativity from the main Basilica of the Nativity

Entering the Grotto of the Nativity from the main Basilica of the Nativity

A pillar depicting a photo of Jesus while surrounding area is under renovation

A pillar depicting a photo of Jesus while surrounding area is under renovation

A giant cross is placed before the crypt of the Church of the Nativity

A giant cross is placed before the crypt of the Church of the Nativity

An altar of Mary holding baby Jesus inside the Church of the Nativity

An altar of Mary holding baby Jesus inside the Church of the Nativity

This altar is directly above the entrance to the Grotto of the Nativity

This altar is directly above the entrance to the Grotto of the Nativity

North stairs coming down the Crypt of the Church of Nativity (the Grotto of the Nativity)

North stairs coming down the Crypt of the Church of Nativity (the Grotto of the Nativity)

This fourteen-point silver star, beneath the altar in the Grotto of the Nativity, marks the traditional spot believed to be the birthplace of Jesus

This fourteen-point silver star, beneath the altar in the Grotto of the Nativity, marks the traditional spot believed to be the birthplace of Jesus

Close up of the fourteen-point star in the Grotto of the Nativity - Bethlehem

Close up of the fourteen-point star in the Grotto of the Nativity - Bethlehem

It was hard to reach this star due to the fact that so many people were either kissing or taking photos with it

It was hard to reach this star due to the fact that so many people were either kissing or taking photos with it

The Altar above the Star of Bethlehem in the Grotto of Nativity

The Altar above the Star of Bethlehem in the Grotto of Nativity

Visitors inside the Grotto of the Nativity paying their respect - This crypt is facing away from Altar

Visitors inside the Grotto of the Nativity paying their respect - This crypt is facing away from Altar

Opposite side of the Grotto of the Nativity

Opposite side of the Grotto of the Nativity

Candles are lit behind a caged area - It is believed that baby Jesus was placed here soon after his birth

Candles are lit behind a caged area - It is believed that baby Jesus was placed here soon after his birth

Another view of the place where baby Jesus was place after his birth in this cave

Another view of the place where baby Jesus was place after his birth in this cave

Flowers and candles behind a closed area in the Grotto of the Nativity

Flowers and candles behind a closed area in the Grotto of the Nativity

Interior of the Church of the Nativity under renovation

Interior of the Church of the Nativity under renovation

Columns inside the Church of Nativity

Columns inside the Church of Nativity

A map of Bethlehem and it's surrounding areas

A map of Bethlehem and it's surrounding areas

The Church of the Nativity seen from a nearby rooftop

The Church of the Nativity seen from a nearby rooftop