|entrance into the Grotto of the Nativity|
|The Star of Bethlehem|
At the base of the Altar of the Nativity is a circular hole covered in
silver in the shape of a star. The star is engraved with the Latin words
HIC DE VIRGINE MARIA JESUS CHRISTUS NATUS EST-1717
(Here of the Virgin Mary Jesus Christ was born-1717)
This particular star was presented to the church in 1852 by the Ottoman Sultan. The word HIC (here) on the star is supposed to mark the exact spot of the birth.
|The Altar of the Nativity|
The mosaic at back of the altar depict the Birth and Washing of the
|Chapel of the Manger|
The altar is on the left and the Manger is on the right behind the
candles. The Manger is covered with marble.