The Church of the Nativity, a World Heritage Site, is located in Bethlehem south of Jerusalem. It was built in 327 AD on the site that is traditionally considered to be located over the place that marks the birthplace of Jesus of Nazareth. The Church of the Nativity site's original basilica was completed in 339 AD and destroyed by fire during the Samaritan Revolts in the sixth century AD. A new basilica was built 565 AD by Justinian, the Byzantine Emperor, restoring the architectural tone of the original. The site of the Church of the Nativity has had numerous additions since this second construction, including its prominent bell towers.
“...Surrounded by the hills of the Judean Desert this church takes me back in time to Biblical Bethlehem where pilgrims arrived on ships from overseas and from all over the land climbing the Judean hills on camels and donkeys to celebrate holy days. I wanted to draw the image with that atmosphere of Biblical pilgrimage, with the surrounding hills of the desert all around. Bethlehem is the birthplace of both Jesus of Nazareth and King David. It is where David was crowned King of Israel. It’s a hugely significant place for so many people around the world....”