Nazareth

| November 29, 2012 | 0 Comments
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Nazareth Israel

Nazareth, Natzrat in Hebrew, is a town in the beautiful Lower Galilee region of Israel where the Christian Savior grew up. During that time period [Second Temple in Jerusalem] it was a Jewish town; today Nazareth is Israel’s largest bustling Arab city and is full of rich historical, spiritual, archaeological sites and other attractions. Additionally, a great fun attraction for kids and adults is the reconstructed Nazareth Village.  A tour to Nazareth can be combined visiting the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee), Jerusalem, and Bethlehem.

(Photo: מוחמד מוסא שהואן,  CC BY 2.5) Nazareth Village

(Photo: מוחמד מוסא שהואן,  CC BY 2.5)
Nazareth Village

Nazareth Village

Nazareth Village, located in a country setting within the city of Nazareth, is a fun place for the whole family. The reconstructed village shows what life was like in Nazareth during the Second Temple period. Dressed in authentic clothing, actors  play the parts of historical characters. You can learn about the foods people ate and watch a weaver weave fabrics  just as it was done over 2,000 years ago.  Discover how they built their homes, how they planted crops and took care of their animals, preserved water in cisterns, and how they used oil lamps to light up their homes. There is also a replica of a first-century Jewish synagogue here, audio-visual presentations, and a very nice souvenir shop. Free entrance for children under age 7. For further information about touring Nazareth Village, email: booking@nazarethvillage.com or phone (04) 645-6042.

Mary’s Well (Photo: Public Domain)

Mary’s Well (Photo: Public Domain)

Church of the Annunciation

Mary’s Well was the town’s main source of water, which originated from a spring found just north of the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation, also known as the Church of St. Gabriel and Mary’s Well Church. The Greek Orthodox believe that this church was the site where the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary while she was drawing water from the spring and told her she would give birth to a son who would be a savior. A small pool of water from this spring is located inside the church; water continues to flow to an outside trough for public use. Water from here was also used for irrigation. Both Christians and Muslims believe this water has healing qualities.

The Ancient Bath House of Nazareth, located in Mary’s Well Plaza, is one of the most exciting archaeological discoveries made here in recent years. All evidence points to this being a Jewish ritual bath, mikvah, from the time of the Second Temple. It is near the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation, containing the spring of Mary’s Well, and is thought to be the most likely source of water for this ritual bath. The bath house was accidentally discovered when Elias and Martina Shama wanted to make renovations to their Cactus Shop in Mary’s Well Plaza and uncovered parts of the old bath house. The Cactus shop sells beautiful handcrafts, embroidery, jewelry, and metalwork.

For further information about visiting the Ancient Bath House, email: martinas@netvision.net.il or phone (04) 657-8539.

Basilica of the Annunciation

One of Nazareth’s many churches is the Roman Catholic Basilica of the Annunciation. Catholics believe their church was built over Mary’s Cave and that this is the site where the angel Gabriel appeared and told her she would give birth to a son who would be a savior. Nearby, a very exciting archaeological find revealed the remains of a residential house that dates back to the Second Temple period.

St. Joseph’s Church (Photo: gugganij, CC BY-SA 3.0)

St. Joseph’s Church (Photo: gugganij, CC BY-SA 3.0)

Church of St. Joseph

The Franciscan Church of St. Joseph is built over the site believed to have been the home of Joseph and Mary and also where he had his carpenter shop. Ancient caves underneath this church may have been used to store wine, oil and grains. There are also ancient Jewish ritual baths, mikvaot, here in this church.

Synagogue Church

The Greek Catholic Synagogue Church was built in the Middle Ages right over the site of the old Jewish Synagogue of Nazareth, a hub of Torah learning in Jewish Nazareth during the time of the Second Temple. Located in the center of the present-day Arab Market, the shuk, visiting the site of this ancient synagogue will also give you a chance to tour the colorful open-air market with all it has to offer at cheap prices.

Nazareth: Did You Know?

There is a new Israeli town called ‘Upper Nazareth,’ Natzeret Illit, that is built right above Nazareth. It’s worth a trip, together with your camera, to get a wonderful panoramic view of the entire region.

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Category: Attractions, Christianity, Galilee

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