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Sites you don’t want to miss on your trip to Nazareth

December 26, 2019

For many, Nazareth is a distant and mythical place, the childhood home of Jesus, a small and humble town where shepherds roam the fields and sheep graze – that is, if it still exists at all.

This fantastic city does indeed exist today, but – be prepared – it is very different to what you would imagine.

Nazareth is considered to be the largest city in northern Israel. Having more than 77,000 residents (70% Muslim and 30% Christian), it is known as the “Arab capital of Israel.” The city, built on the entire side of a mountain and the valley that winds beneath it, has steep and windy roads meandering through it. The sounds of Muslim mosques calling for prayer and church bells ring through the air. And, oddly enough, all live together in harmony.

Mount Precipice 

The best view of the modern city and its surroundings is from Mount Precipice, known for being the mountain from which the angry mob tried to throw Jesus after his bold proclamation in the Nazareth Synagogue (Luke 4:16–30). From high up the mountain (don’t worry, you can drive up part way and leisurely walk the rest), you can survey the whole city of Nazareth, the Valley of Jezreel with its farming fields, and Mount Tavor.

You can also explore the modern city! Visit the Shuk (“bazaar”) with its shops selling spices, Persian-style carpets, middle-eastern foods and desserts, and bargain for anything you can imagine. Or, for all you Christmas lovers, visit the extravagant Christmas market at Mary’s Well Square (open during December). Buy your nativity sets, lights, and ornaments, and enjoy the holiday atmosphere.

 

The View from Mount Precipice The View from Mount Precipice

 

 

The Church of the Annunciation

Just laying eyes on the beautiful structure of the Church of the Annunciation is enough to move even an unbeliever to tears. 

Protected within its two stories is what is believed to be the remains of the childhood house of Saint Mary (also known as Miriam, the mother of Jesus), where the Angel Gabriel appeared to her and announced she would give birth to the Savior, Jesus.

Originally built in the mid-4th century by Emperor Constantine I, the church has since been conquered by many rulers. It was destroyed and rebuilt time after time until 1969, when it was completely demolished and redesigned by the Italian architect Giovanni Muzio, then built by an Israeli firm. It is now under the control of the Franciscans. Entry is free of charge, and visitors are welcome to pray and tour the impressive interior of the church.

Nazareth Village

The Nazareth Village is where the saying “being transported in time” almost takes on a literal meaning. If you’ve read the accounts of the ancient city of Nazareth and wished you could see what it was like – now you can.

Quietly tucked away from the busy city is a calm, open-air museum that re-enacts authentic village life during the time of Jesus. If it sounds wonderful, that’s because it is. Actors dressed in period costumes will play out “a day in the life of a Galilean,” showing visitors the farm, domestic life, and craftwork with ancient tools. You’ll tour through old stone and wood houses, eat a biblical-themed meal, walk through wine and olive presses, pet donkeys and sheep, and listen to the parables of Jesus explained in the context of the time.

 

Nazareth Village Nazareth Village

 

With the help of one of our trusted guides, your day in Nazareth can be a perfect balance between modern and ancient, free and structured. We’ll take you to places that will soon become favorites that you want to share with everyone you know. Your biblical journey in the City of Nazareth is waiting for you!

Join our tours for a once in a lifetime experience!

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