3 / 12
Basilica of the Nativity
Built in the 4th century by the Roman emperor Constantine, the Basilica of the Nativity is one of the most important churches in the Holy Land. It houses the grotto of the Nativity, where the Virgin Mary gave birth. Every year, 2 million pilgrims visit the grotto, found in the crypt of the church, marked by a 14-pointed silver star. A hole allows pilgrims to bend down and kiss the original rock. Close by is the manger where Jesus was laid down, today an altar.