Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem


Hand writing says “Church of Saint George, Bethlehem”

No date clues on the card, but this website has the same images, so most likely 1910s.

Google Street View

Feuding monks at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem don’t just cast the first stone—they stockpile rocks in anticipation of future altercations. Several holy men landed in the hospital two Christmases ago after a fight broke out over the dusting of church chandeliers. The occasional brawls at the 1,700-year-old basilica, believed to mark the birthplace of Jesus Christ, reflect the difficulty of housing three Christian denominations under a single roof.

And now that roof is rotting, threatening the structural integrity of the building. Parts of the wooden truss structure date to the 15th century, and holes in the timbers allow dirty water to drip upon the precious paintings and mosaics below. The problem has been worsening for decades, but the resident clerics—from the Greek Orthodox and Armenian Orthodox churches and the Franciscan order of the Roman Catholic Church—are jealous of each other’s claims of custody and have been unable to agree on a plan of action.
Endangered Site: Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem (Smithsonian Magazine)

The present Church of the Nativity is one of the earliest Christian structures. The original Basilica, erected in the 4th century by Emperor Constantine, was completely destroyed in the Samaritan Revolt of 529 A.D. It was replaced during the reign of Justinian (527-65) on the same site, by a larger Basilica, slightly different in plan and incorporating different parts of the original building. Evidence of the turbulent history of the church can be readily seen in the fabric of the building; for centuries it was one of the most fought-over of the Holy Places. It was only by chance that this building escaped destruction during the Persian invasion of A.D. 614. It was the only major church in the country to be spared. Later, the building was seized and defended by a succession of Moslem and Crusader armies; this explains the fortress-like appearance of the church’s exterior. This is also a common feature of most of the ancient religious buildings in the Holy Land. In the course of time, the complex was expanded by the addition of several chapels and monasteries belonging to different Christian Churches.
Church of the Nativity: History & Structure:

Sanctuary Bethlehem has virtual tour (I’d recommend using the on screen controls rather than the mouse), 3D models and a lot of information about various rooms, buildings, caves etc. (under Visit menu)

Wikipedia