Abbot Daniel

Vie et pèlerinage, 1106-1107

The Ukrainian abbot Daniel visited the Holy Places accompanied by a monk from the Mar Saba Monastery. In the account of his pilgrimage considerable space is dedicated to a description of the Holy Grotto, and in particular to the site of the Manger, describing the position of the entrances to the Grotto.

The Nativity Grotto

The Place of the Nativity is on the east side, and opposite, a little to the right, is the Crib of Christ; it is on the west side under a rock of stone, and it was in this sacred crib that Christ, our God, was placed wrapped in poor swaddling clothes, he who suffered everything for our salvation. These two places, the Nativity and the Crib, are quite close to one another, being only three sagenes apart [a sagene was a Russian measure equal to seven feet], and are in the same cave, which is covered with mosaics and well paved.

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