If you mean the state, see Bethlehem (state)
|Motto: Birthplace of Jesus|
District of the Holy See|
|• Mayor||Karl Kazankov|
|• Capital City||11,548,581|
|• Rank||2nd in Luziyca|
|• Density||3,981.19/km2 (10,311.23/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Eastern Standard Time (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||not observed since 1987 (UTC-6)|
Bethlehem is the capital of Luziyca since 1863, and the second largest city after Semprihevosk. It has been a cultural center within Luziyca, being home to Apostolic Catholicism and as a result is a place of pilgrimage. In addition, it has become a major economic center, due to it being the home of the government of the Christian Republic.
In 1863, the Republicans and peasants revolted, assassinated the last King (King Stanislav), and allowed Huswa Varanken to be the first President of Luziyca, and as a result, it became one of the foremost economic centers in the country. In 1934, communist revolutionaries declared war and at one point controlled Bethlehem, but after the war, Bethlehem became the official capital of the East, the West's capital being initially in Yerevan, before it was moved to Gijirokastra.
After the Luziycan Civil War, the economic development of Bethlehem intensified, and by 1940, it became the largest city in East Luziyca. Factories and suburbs sprung up, expanding long beyond the island and even the borders of the capital district. In the 1960s, it was one of the centers of the Quiet Revolution. In 1962, residents of the capital were given the right to vote for Presidential Elections and allowed to vote in Congressional elections (considered part of the State of Bethlehem for these purposes), due to its huge size and sheer influence. During the 1970s, there was an industrial decline, but Bethlehem became more of a financial center and a trade hub in the western hemisphere of Esquarium. In 1984, it hosted the 1984 Summer Olympic Games, which many nations boycotted.
Today, Bethlehem's economy comes from manufacturing, finances, retails and tourism, and is one of the major economic centers within Luziyca.
The city is divided into 9 suburban development areas, and 68 neighborhoods. Prior to 1961, they had no administrative divisions, but since that year, it has 70 SDAs, which also function as electoral districts. It has 140 wards, 2 per SDA, which are elected every 4 years, and elect the Mayor amongst themselves every 4 years, functioning as some sort of an electoral college (one votes to a councilperson, which requests that they vote for a candidate to be mayor) and can vote either by the wishes of the people, or their own choice.
Luziyca is situated in the foothills of the Pine Cordillera, which significantly influences temperatures within the city. It however is bordered to the west by foothills, and to the east by the Eastern Plain. It is largely flat, save for eight hills, dotting the city, the highest point being 446 meters above sea level, named "Oak Ridge," the highest point of the neighborhood marked with a park and a cairn. The average level is 189 meters above sea level, the lowest point in the city being the Kirk River, at 146 meters above sea level. The east side is generally flatter compared to the west side of the city.
Bethlehem has a humid continental climate (Koppen climate classification: Dfb). It is influenced by the mountains in surrounding Bethlehem, meaning some years, Bethlehem has light snowfall (before winter 2011-2012, it was last recorded in 1918-1919), while other years, it has heavy snowfall. As a result, despite the latitude, Bethlehem is influenced by an Arctic air current.
Bethlehem has tons of historical landmarks within its borders of the Federal City of Bethlehem. The Presidential Palace, housing the President of Luziyca is a popular sightseeing attraction within Luziyca, built in 1585, by the Kings of Bethlehem and became the formal Presidential Palace in 1863.
In 1953, the first modernist skyscraper in East Luziyca, the Huswa Varanken Tower was built, at 159 meters (512 feet, 7.27 inches), and was the tallest building in East Luziyca until 1974. Today, it has a major park, named Central Park, and significant tourist attractions, and various architectural styles, from simplistic to Gothic, to Modernist architecture. The tallest building is The Sumeriki, at 695m tall, completed in 2009, after construction that began in 2005, and from 2009 to 2011, was the tallest building in Luziyca.
The city layout has changed over the years. Until the 1500s, Bethlehem did not expand from what is now known as "The Island." The layout was a system highly irregular city blocks and the range of street orientations, both common attributes of many historic cities, such as Bethlehem. By 1516, new towns surrounding the island were formed, and a grid layout was formed. Initially, like the island, the streets were narrow, but in 1870, Huswa Varanken issued a plan, to create a hierarchy of wide roads, and a rapid change occurred. The narrow streets were expanded, but streets with "very low traffic" became back alleys. New neighborhoods had wide roads.
This layout was continued to be use until the mid-1950s, when suburbs began adopting the cul-de-sac, local roads, collectors and arterial roads, which still shape the development of Bethlehem's new suburbs. Thus, the further in you are in Bethlehem, the more complex the road system will be.
Since Bethlehem is a major cultural and economic center, it plays a dominant role in Luziycan culture, although not as much in recent years as it formerly had (due to the rise of Gijirokastra). It is home to the second largest stock exchange within the country, the Bethlehem Stock Exchange, and is home to several corporations and organizations.
In Bethlehem, there are many forms of transport within the city. The Federal Highway system links Bethlehem, on Highway 1 to Gijirokastra in the west, and Frontiersburg, Upper York in the east, and Highway 3 with Danzig in the north, and ultimately to Frontiersburg, Southern Luziyca to the south. A ring road, locally known as Circle Drive, and listed on official maps as Highway 101 encircles the city of Bethlehem, and was built from 1975 to 1995, and used as a bypass for those wanting to avoid Downtown.
It has a robust transit system, operating under the privately-owned Bethlehem Transport Authority (Bethlehem Transporta Vlastena), with 55 bus routes, as well as twelve subway lines. From 1913 to 1967, it operated streetcars, and in 1935, it introduced buses.
The taxis in Bethlehem are identifiable with their fluorescent yellow paint scheme with three companies operating. They are Comfort Cabs, United, and Prestige. The automobile however remains popular for transport in Bethlehem.
It also has train links to various areas, and is the eastern terminus of an Evangeline service from Gijirokastra to Bethlehem. The main station, Union Station, as a result is home to the headquarters of Luztrak.
Bethlehem is twinned with: