Marking Advent Season and the birth of Lord Jesus Christ to be celebrated on December 24, the Grotto of the Nativity was launched at the Dead Sea Spa Hotel on Friday, December 9, in the presence of Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Nayef Al-Fayez as well as travel agents and a large number of people.
The Grotto of the Nativity, the largest in Jordan, is a model that represents the birth of Lord Jesus Christ. It acquires its prime importance being the only one in the touristic and religious Dead Sea area as well as being located in the vicinity of the Baptism Site.
Mr. Al-Fayez said the launching of the Grotto of the Nativity reflects the tourism sector’s endeavor to create religious touristic diversity in the Dead Sea area which is a global natural resort. He called for maximizing the exploitation of creative ideas and highlighting religious sites that require maximum efforts designed to attract tourists and visitors.
For his part, Fr. Dr. Rif’at Bader said, “The nativity grotto is a visual embodiment of the events of Christmas with its historical characters. Furthermore, the location of the Grotto of the Nativity in the vicinity of the Baptism Site represents the deep spiritual dimension that our blessed land contains, and indicates the connection between the birth of Lord Jesus Christ and His baptism.” He added that the location of the grotto in the lowest spot of Earth is an invitation to all pilgrims of the world to come to Bethlehem, and to complete the pilgrimage route from Bethlehem to the Baptism Site of Lord Jesus Christ on the eastern bank of the Jordan River.
In a related development, His Majesty King Abdullah on Wednesday, December 8, attended the launch of the master plan to develop the land adjacent to the Baptism Site of Jesus Christ, in order to enhance the services offered to pilgrims and visitors where this plan would be implemented in the land adjacent to the Baptism Site, over an area of 1,374 dunums.
The Baptism Site of Jesus Christ, located nine kilometers north of the Dead Sea on the East Bank of the Jordan River, is one of the holiest sites for Christianity on Earth is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, will remain a protected zone, pristine, and untouched.