Pilgrims who visited the Holy Land between the IV and VII century

SOPHRONIUS OF JERUSALEM (ca. 600 A.D.)
The Church of the Nativity at Bethlehem

The basilica of the Nativity

The interior of the Nativity Basilica is carachterized by four rows of monolytic columns, made from the typical Bethlehem reddish limestone. Sophronius writes about a "sacred Tetrastoon" , the meaning of this word, of Greek origin, beeing exactly "four rows of columns". The first basilica was built by Emperor Constantine in the 4th century A.D. and was later replaced with the present one, probably by Justinian, in the 6th century A.D. The architecture of the Byzantine basilica remains basically the same today as originally built, although it no longer shines with gold as in Sophronius' times.

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Project, design, research and realization carried out by Eugenio Alliata ofm,
assistant professor of Christian Archaeology at SBF-Jerusalem.
Updated Thu, Dec 9, 1999 at 05:00 by John Abela ofm - Space by courtesy of Christus Rex
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