From the Grotto
to the Basilica

“In this poor crevice of the earth the Creator of the heavens was born; here He was wrapped in swaddling clothes; here He was seen by the shepherds; here He was pointed out by the star; here He was adored by the Wise Men”.

St. Jerome, 395

The first section is dedicated to the Constantinian-era basilica and the Grotto of the Nativity. The narration of the creation of the first church – built on the birthplace of Jesus – starts from the archaeological excavations and the restoration of the floor mosaics.

The recent renovation works brought to light wider segments of the mosaic decorations in all their splendor, whereas the new archaeological excavations gave a richer insight into the circumstances of the church’s construction at the beginning of the fourth century.

“And this sight is greatly talked of in surrounding places, even among the enemies of the faith, it being said that in this cave was born that Jesus who is worshipped and reverenced by the Christians”.

Origen, 248