National Geographic : 1952 Dec
832 W. C. Lowaerm11K, U.a .J .A. Infinite Toil Produced These Earthen Ribs Girding a Lebanon Hillside Mountainous Lebanon relies heavily on terraces. Here barley and wheat, dotted with clumps of almond and fruit trees, grow amid the shells of neglected houses. The cypress-guarded castle, once the palace of a feudal lord, is now the summer home of Lebanese Presidents. The village of Beit ed Din sprawls to the right. Few of Lebanon's famous cedars survive; none grow here. writhes like a pale serpent through the wilder ness, without touching Israel (map, page 844). From a spur of the Mount of Olives this route looks down on the majestic expanse of time-tinted walls which make Jerusalem "the Golden" (page 834). As it approaches Bethlehem, near the fields where shepherds watched their flocks by night, the road affords the finest possible view of the city of the Nativity. From here, Bethlehem is a dream city of shining stone houses, set on a high Judaean hill. On feast days spotless headdresses brighten the shadows, and embroidery-stiff gowns borrow brilliance from the sun. Reli gious processions weave brocaded dignity by day, and under the stars they reflect candle glow on gilded crosses and censers.* Bethlehem is largely Christian, and much of its commerce has depended on pilgrims. Close to the Church of the Nativity is the * See, in the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE: "Bethlehem and the Christmas Story," by John D. Whiting, December, 1929.