Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity getting much-needed facelift
The church was built 1,500 years ago. The roof hasn't been repaired for 150 years. But fixing it is more like archeology than carpentry.
Fearing that the 1,500-year-old roof of Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity could collapse at any time, the Palestinian Authority is looking into how to repair the wooden and leaking top of the basilica built by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian around 6oo A.D.
“After centuries of neglect, the ancient and dilapidated roof of Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity will finally undergo renovation next year,” reports Bible History Daily, the journal of the Biblical Archeology Society, which says the roof was last repaired around the time of the U.S. Civil War.
“While the leaky roof long ago ruined many of the church’s priceless mosaics and paintings,” reports the journal, “of more immediate concern are the roof’s ancient wooden beams, which have begun to pose a danger to the more than 2 million