The Apse Mosaic at San Clemente: Detail, Bethlehem

The rump of the leftmost of the sheep can be just made out on the right of this photograph. Above it is the inscription "Bethleem." In the arch above the gate is the figure of a child, representing the birth of Christ in Bethlehem. This image on the far left corresponds to that of Jerusalem on the far right.

This representation of the earthly Bethlehem points nevertheless to the heavenly Jerusalem. The colored rectangles in the stones of the wall apparently reflect Revelation 22:19: "And the foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all manner of precious stones."

View the entire apse.

Photographed at the church by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.