The Gospels of Matthew and Luke record the birth of Jesus in a manger in Bethlehem. Since the 4th century, a cave in the eastern side of the city is venerated as the spot where Jesus was born. The church built over the holy cave has been modified over the years, but it still bears the basic Basilical plan, from Byzantine times.
In 2015, I was honored to narrate a set of presentations of holy Christian sites, and in front of a special camera that captures 360 degrees. The complete series is available on an app called “BIBLEVR“. The video is a sample released on YouTube to demonstrate this special filming technique.
Filming in the cave was quite a challenge, as it is EXTREMELY crowded at the site. We were given only one opportunity to film. In addition to the text, I did my best to also deliver the sense of sanctity of the site. However, if you tilt the view, you can see the crowds waiting for me to finnish the presentation.
Since 1996, Bethlehem is under Palestinian control. Israelis are not permitted in, and Israeli tour guides must obtain a special permit to lead their tourists into Bethlehem.
Usually, I arrange a local Palestinian guide to take people who are interested into Bethlehem and the Church of Nativity. I can also arrange a guide for a full day tour of Bethlehem and other destinations in the West Bank.