Castle rock accommodating iol instrument predating sextant
I suddenly felt I was walking on a mine field of religious contradictions, hidden from the rest of the world.
I later realised that the mayor’s opinions were not those of ordinary people.
And, he went on, the six springs I had drawn on the square for visitors’ well-being had to go, they would be used by Muslims for ritual washing before Friday visits to the mosque; displeasing to Christians considering the proximity of the Nativity Church.
Likewise the arabesque pattern on the stone floor of the square had to go as it would remind people that Islam had a presence here.
They have always had respect for the Nativity Church which they proudly consider theirs – as well.
Happy and full of anticipation I travelled to Bethlehem together with the other prize winners and the project managers. Anyone who was someone in the city seemed to have assembled in the town hall for the prize-giving ceremony.
This project, to be fulfilled before the millennium, inspired great interest.
Our kindly caretaker, Lars Wellsjö, promised to see to it that the proposal reached Bethlehem one and a half months in advance. The votes were in and a unanimous jury had awarded me first prize!
Thus started this amazingly different and challenging architectural assignment; a job I would never have dared to dream about, by a twist of fate, had come my way.
The millennium celebrations would be a time when hundreds of millions focused on how Bethlehem was being restored, preparing to receive thousands of tourists and pilgrims. Patriarchs representing the four oldest Christian communities sat in front of the podium, peacefully lined up in their distinguished traditional black attire. For hundreds of years, in fact since the beginning of AD 800, because of Charlemagne’s conflict with the Byzantine Empire, the Christian communities, especially Roman Catholics and Greek Orthodox Catholics, have been enemies and competitors for the ownership of The Nativity Church.