My favourite place: Bethlehem, West Bank

For the Christmas instalment of our historical holidays series, Jacob Norris visits the holy, yet cosmopolitan, city of Bethlehem

Bethlehem. (Getty Images)

This article was first published in the Christmas 2016 issue of BBC History Magazine 

Bethlehem often seems to exist more in the imagination than in reality. I first visited in 1999 as part of a whistle-stop tour of Israel. Like most visitors, we were bussed to the Church of the Nativity for a 30-minute guided tour. An hour later we were back at the hotel in nearby Jerusalem without having set foot on the streets of Bethlehem beyond the church.

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