Bethlehem lies 2500 feet above sea level
on the ancient caravan route 10 km south of Jerusalem. Surrounded
by rolling hills stretching out eastward to the Judean Desert,
Bethlehem provides a remarkable view of an ancient landscape
of vineyards, olive trees, and small historic villages.
As the birthplace of Jesus Christ, Bethlehem's
name evokes images of the infant Jesus and of the Magi and
Shepherds coming to worship Him.
Bethlehem is famous for its olive wood hand
carving, holiday cards decorated with dried colored leaves,
mother-of-pearl jewelry, and distinctive embroidery.
Bethlehem's mother-of-pearl artifacts were
first exhibited in the west at the World Fair in New York
in 1852. Afterwards, owners developed their factories and
introduced modern machines. Over the years, they developed
their technique to an exquisite art. A variety of souvenir
shops in Bethlehem offer tourists an assortment of Holy Land
artifacts and jewelry.