You’ve arrived at Beit Sahour. If you’ve not heard the name before, you know some of its history. It’s here that shepherds watching their flocks were interrupted by choirs of angels, loudly proclaiming the birth of Christ.

Distance covered: 80.2 miles

Elevation: 649m

Population: 14,000

Christian population: 11,200

Principal churches:

  • Convent of the Shepherds (considered to be the place where angels appeared to the shepherds; Greek Orthodox)
  • Greek Catholic
  • Latin Patriarchate
  • Lutheran

Economy and culture

A large proportion of Beit Sahour’s workforce are employed in supporting the tourist industry. In fact, there are more than 150 workshops in Beit Sahour producing religious artifacts. The city is also home to a branch of Al Quds Open University, and to the Fashion and Textile Institute - the first of its kind in Palestine.

Christian heritage

Beit Sahour translates as ‘house of the night watch’ - it’s here that shepherds grazed their flocks during the day, and retreated with them to caves at night. The traditional locations of the angels’ visit to the shepherds, and of the shepherds’ home, are marked by the Greek Orthodox and Franciscan churches respectively.

Another location to visit is the Well of Mary, where Mary is said to have stopped for water while journeying to Egypt.

Friends of the Holy Land in Beit Sahour

We are the primary funders for School of Joy - a unique educational facility supporting children with special needs from around the area. Many families in poverty do not have the resources to provide for these children’s needs. Alongside teaching, the school supports students with healthcare, exercise therapy, and food.

Learn more about School of Joy’s work in this video:

You're almost there! Your final destination is Bethlehem - only a mile further down the road!