Where to go? – The Visit Palestine Center
Nestled between the hustle and bustle of Bethlehem’s main thoroughfare, Manger Street, and the Biblical pilgrimage route, Star Street, is the Visit Palestine Center. The Center, which houses a Tourist Information Point, Boutique Gift Shop, and Café is located in a beautifully renovated and restored 200-year-old building, just minutes from the Church of Nativity and Manger Square.
Only twenty years ago, one would not have taken a second glance at this historic building. Like many buildings in Bethlehem’s Old City it sat in disrepair. Since that time, it has undergone expert renovation with special attention paid to preserving its architectural features and its historic beauty. Now, walking through the doors of the Visit Palestine Center, it is as if one has taken a step back in time.
The façade of the building has been preserved, showing beautifully carved stone features and symbols indicative of its Palestinian history. Inside, one will find arched stone doorways and ceilings, small ventilation openings, niches carved into the walls, and even a passageway to the lower floor that served an interesting purpose during the Ottoman period. Visitors to the Center can observe and learn about all of these features, as well as enjoy a collection of photographs documenting the building’s restoration.
In addition to being an architectural beauty, the Visit Palestine Center is also a valuable resource for locals and visitors to Bethlehem and Palestine. At the Visit Palestine Tourist Information Point, an expert staff is ready to provide a wide range of services and information for travel and exploration not only of Bethlehem but the whole of Palestine. The Boutique Gift Shop showcases the traditions, creativity, and craftsmanship of the Palestinian people with a diverse collection of items, all handmade in Palestine.
The Center also features a Café that occasionally serves as a venue for events including musical performances, workshops, and movie screenings. Although not yet officially open, the Café is welcoming visitors in its cozy indoor dining area as well as its beautiful garden terrace to enjoy a refreshing beverage and a light meal. Stay connected with us to learn more about the Café’s Grand Opening.
Stop into the Visit Palestine Center or check out its webpage www.visitpalestine.ps to learn about events that the Center is holding, as well as what is going on in and around Bethlehem this Christmas season.