The Town of Jesus in the Galilee

There are very few tours to Israel that do not include Nazareth in their itineraries. For Christians it is a must to visit the city.

Here is a short summary of the Christian belief in relation to this city:

Nazareth was a small Jewish village some 2,000+ years ago in which the virgin Mary and Joseph lived. According to tradition, the angel Gabriel appeared before Mary and told her she will become pregnant with Jesus. This is referred to as the Annunciation. The town is also the place in which Jesus spent his childhood. The city is thus a top destination for Christian pilgrimages.

But the city is actually an attraction for any visitor. It is located in the lower Galilee region in the northern part of Israel. By far the most important site to visit is the Church of the Annunciation.

The church is composed of the lower church and the upper church. The lower part is centered around what is known as The Grotto or The Cave. This Grotto is believed to be the place of the announcement to Mary by Gabriel the angel. Next to the lower part you can see the remains of the churches that preceded the modern church – the Byzantine and the Crusader churches. The upper modern church was built in 1969 and is beautifully decorated with mosaics of the Virgin Mary.

Want to know something interesting?

In the Hebrew language Christians are referred to as Notzrim, which translates into "those that came from Nazareth". Aha…

The city has many other churches, mosques and synagogues. A church that stands right beside the Annunciation church is the Church of Saint Joseph. According to the tradition, this church stands on the location of Joseph’s carpentry shop.

Another worthwhile site for you is the white mosque. This house of prayer is also the house of an interesting museum about the city’s history.

A final note is that while you are visiting the city, walk around and absorb the charm and visit the market. Also recommended for your visit is to try one of the great restaurants that serve Arab/Mediterranean/Israeli food. This will give you a great taste of the local culture.

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