Israel Pilgrim Tours

Church of the Nativity

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Map of Israel
Nazareth

According to the present day mayor, Ramiz Jaraisy, Nazareth is not just another city; it is a "priceless national asset. Part of humanity's history and heritage."

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Church of the Annunciation
Church of St. Gabriel
Synagogue Church

Church of the Nativity

Starting from the recent and moving back to the past, the Church of the Nativity was the scene of the hostage crisis in 2005, for which there was a bloodless resolution thanks to the fine mediators on the scene.

Church of the Nativity

Shepherd's Field

Located in Bet Sahour, which is east of Bethlehem, Shepherd's Field is where the angels appeared to shepherds and announced the birth of Jesus.

Shepherd's Field
Megiddo (Armageddon)

Mt. Megiddo, in the center of Israel that is known as the location at which the eventual disaster will erupt in some way. As the Hebrew word for mountain is "Har", the connection in even stronger.

Megiddo
Caesarea Philippi

Caesarea Philippi is situated on one of four springs
feeding the Jordan River. It sits on the southwestern
slope of Mount Hermon, on a terrace 1,150 feet
(350 meters) overlooking a fertile valley.

Caesarea Philippi
Bethsaida

See Bethsaida on Sea of Galilee, site of several miracles as
well as recent archaeological findings from the time of Jesus.

Bethsaida
Cana

The actual location of Cana is something of a biblical blur and is surrounded by speculation. The modern town of Kfar Kana is situated in the Galilee, five miles northeast of Nazareth, and is populated by Christians and Muslims.

Cana
Capernaum

Capernaum is the place where Jesus began to preach after the Temptation in the Wilderness, which is the first recorded event following His baptism.

Capernaum
Ein Karem

Famous for being the birthplace of John the Baptist, Ein Karem is a village on the west side of Jerusalem and home to five different sites important to the Christian pilgrimage...

Ein Karem
Emmaus

Emmaus has significance in both the Christian and Jewish narrative. Located a bit off the modern day Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway, Emmaus is an important site in the Christian narrative since...

Emmaus
Jardenit

Situated where the Bible's most famous river, the Jordan, emerges from the Sea of Galilee, Jardenit is the site where Christians have reaffirmed their faith for over 2,000 years.

Jardenit
Jezreel Valley

The Jezreel Valley is known under many names including Campus Legionis, Esdraelon, Plain of Megiddo and many more. Its claim to fame for the Christian pilgrim is the fact that the Bible speaks of ...

Jezreel Valley
House of Simon the Tanner

A particularly significant event in Christian history took place in Jaffa (“Joppa”). Documented in the Book of Acts, it is related that while visiting the house of Simon the tanner ...

House of Simon the Tanner
Latrun

The monastery at Latrun is a well known destination for the Christian pilgrim. The site, located on the road between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem was first established in 1890 by ...

Latrun
Mount of Beatitudes

The Church of the Sermon on the Mount is another location that is in some dispute. It is possible that this is the actual site of the sermon, but not very likely, according to Christian scholars.

Mount of Beatitudes
Tabgha

Not a city or town as such, Tabgha is a small area on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee, near the ancient Capernaum and the hill where the Mount of Beatitudes is situated.

Tabgha
Milk Grotto

In Bethlehem, the Church of the Milk Grotto is traditionally known to be a site where Mary stopped to breastfeed the infant Jesus while fleeing to Egypt...

Milk Grotto
Mount Tabor

Cited in both the Old and New Testaments, Mount Tabor is a hill rising 500 meters above the Jezreel Valley in the Galilee. In ancient times it was in a strategic position overlooking the north-south road...

Mount Tabor
Qumran

Qumran is famous for its proximity to the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Vanishing from site and mind for the most part after its destructions by the Romans in around 68 C.E. ...

Qumran
Monastery of St. George

Located in Wadi Qelt in the eastern West Bank, the St. George Orthodox Monastery is a sixth-century cliff-hanger, literally: It is built into the cliffs of the wadi and is inhabited by Greek Orthodox monks...

Monastery of St. George
Sepphoris

Known as Zippori in Hebrew, Sepphoris was a prosperous and beautiful town in Jesus’ day, a hike of just a couple of hours from Nazareth.

Sepphoris
Stella Maris

Stella Maris is a Carmelite Order monastery in Haifa, Israel's third largest city. It is located where 12th century religious hermits, imitating Elijah's cave-dwelling, organized themselves during the Crusader occupation.

Stella Maris
Bethany

Site of a 2,000 year old structure that is reputed to be the House of Martha and Mary, Bethanyis naturally a popular pilgrimage destination, though there is some controversy about whether it is the exact site of the original village.

Bethany
Migdala

Migdala was the only village established on the shore of the Sea of Galilee just west of the modern Tiberius-Rosh Pina road.

Migdala

Starting from the recent and moving back to the past, the Church of the Nativity was the scene of the hostage crisis in 2005, for which there was a bloodless resolution thanks to the fine mediators on the scene.

A bit further back, in 1852, a “joint-custody” arrangement was made for the church, granted to the Roman Catholic, Armenian and Greek Orthodox churches. The Greeks have the responsibility for the Grotto of the Nativity. This arrangement came about after the theft of the Silver Star, considered to mark the exact site of the Nativity, which resulted in an international crisis over the Holy Places, the dispute over the protectorships of the holy places ultimately leading to the Crimean War from 1854 till 1856. Church of the Nativity

The circumstances of Jesus’ birth are presented and interpreted differently by Matthew and Luke. Matthew seems to claim that Mary and Joseph were from Bethlehem and then moved to live in Nazareth, with baby Jesus, after Herod’s decree. Luke proposes that they were actually from Nazareth but that Jesus was born in Bethlehem while they were in town for a special occasion. These are irreconcilably different but historians tend towards the Matthew story due to other historical discrepancies in some of Luke’s writings. But it is agreed that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. The manger’s exact location is also subject to interpretation of the words for “room,” “inn” and “cave.” Those who were writing a century after Jesus’ birth that He was born in a cave, may have been in agreement with both Luke AND Matthew since the rooms of houses or inns at the time had alcoves looking distinctly like caves.

As for the church itself, in 326, Constantine and his mother, Saint Helena, commissioned a church to be built over the cave, at the same time that they were presiding over the Church of the Holy Sepulcher nearby in Jerusalem. The first church of the nativity that had an octagonal floor plan placed directly over the cave was dedicated on May 31, 339. There are portions of the floor mosaic from this period that still survive, against all odds in light of the building and re-building that subsequently took place. The Church of the Nativity was much neglected in the Mamaluke and Ottoman periods, but spared from total destruction. Even in 1834, an earthquake destroyed the ornaments and furnishings of the cave, but the church itself survived.

Interesting Holyland Places Nearby:

Bethlehem
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Holy Land Articles

Located on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem next to the Garden of Gethsemane, the Church of All Nations, also known as the Church or Basilica of the Agony, is a Roman Catholic Church.

Located in the middle of Nazareth’s old market in the Churches district, the Synagogue Church is adjacent to the Greek Catholic Church of Annunciation, which in turn is located near the famous Basilica of the Annunciation.

Located in Wadi Qelt in the eastern West Bank, the St. George Orthodox Monastery is a sixth-century cliff-hanger, literally: It is built into the cliffs of the wadi and is inhabited by Greek Orthodox monks.
 

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