Nazareth Things to Do

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Most Recent Things to Do in Nazareth

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    Greek Orthodox church of Archangel Gabriel

    by mindcrime Updated Mar 29, 2014

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    Much smaller than the famous catholic church of Annunciation this one was a nice surprise for us. The Greek Orthodox church of the Annunciation is dedicated to Archangel Gabriel and it’s the most sacred church for the greek orthodox community of Nazareth. According to the orthodox church the church was built upon the spring where Virgin Mary came by to draw water when was announced by the archangel Gabriel that she will have a son of God.

    The first church was built over the spring in 3rd century AD but was destroyed by the arabs in 7th century. The Crusaders rebuilt the church in 12th century but it was destroyed again in 1263 by the Mamluk Sultan Baibers. It was rebuilt in mid 18th century on top of the ruins of the old crusader church when the muslim ruler Daher El-Omar gave permission to the greek orthodox people.

    We passed the main gate (pic 1) and realized it’s a small simple structure with a fortress-like appearance. 10 minutes earlier we had a coffee break on the square in front of the church so we had seen many groups of tourists getting inside… so when we finally visited the church it was already packed with orthodox people from Russia and Greece, people of all ages with cameras in hand covering every inch of the church so I couldn’t really enjoy the wall and ceiling colorful paintings and frescoes, most of them about Jesus live but also of numerous saints.

    I sat in corner for some minutes and when most old ladies left the church I enjoyed the church a bit more as it was much more atmospheric without the crowds, especially the iconostastis, a wonderful wooden carved templon (pic 5) that houses several paintings (about Annunciation event, Jesus life etc), there are also many modern murals on the walls and ceiling.

    But most of the visitors were down the hallway (pic 4) to reach the crypt (probably built by the Crusaders) with the little spring that ran inside, the water flows outside via pipers that lead to the trough near the church which is known as Mary’s Well (see next tip)

    Many people were lighting candles there but it was interesting to see many of them filling large 1,5lt plastic bottles with the water from the spring, it supposed to have healing power.

    The church is open Monday to Saturday 7-17.00 but the mass takes place on sunday

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    Mary’s Well

    by mindcrime Written Mar 29, 2014

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    According to the Greek Orthodox church (that accept the protoevangelium of James, a 2nd-century apocryphal text) Virgin Mary was collecting water from a spring every day but one day she had a special visitor there, actually it was a bizarre voice coming out of nowhere and announced that she will have the one and only son of God! Mary got scared of course and run back home to tell Joseph about the invisible creature but then archangel Gabriel came to her and had no problem to reveal himself there and repeat the announcement.

    So while the catholic church was built upon her home the Greek Orthodox church of Annunciation was built upon the spring. You can visit the crypt of the church and see the little spring that ran inside, the water flows outside via pipers that lead to the trough near the church which is known as Mary’s Well.

    The well is still functional and served Nazareth for many centuries but a big sign warning people that the water is not drinkable. Although renovated in its original form the structure looks a bit ugly, it seemed neglected among the tree-covered square..

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    Fransciscan Convent & School

    by mindcrime Written Mar 29, 2014

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    The Franciscan Sisters of Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) is a Convent and School we passed by on our way to Basilica of Annunciation which is a few meters away.

    The Franciscan order established the Convent in 1620 and had high walls around like a fortress to protect the monks but the walls demolished when the new convent was built in 1930. The old one was one of the biggest in Palestine area and it was used as a lodging place for Christian pilgrims until early 19th century housing also the only pharmacy of the area.

    Today it houses 30 monks and part of it can be visited including a small photography exhibition.

    It’s open Monday to Saturday 8-18.00 but the entrance requires permission from the monks first. We were on our way to Basilican so we didn’t check this one.

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    Basilica of the Annunciation

    by mindcrime Written Mar 29, 2014

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    Basilica of the Annunciation is probably the landmark among most visitors of Nazareth. It’s catholic cathedral that is built above the sunken grotto where (according to catholic faith) was Virgin Mary’s childhood home and the place where she received the Annunciation of the imminent birth of Jesus. The area turned into a worship place in the 1st and 2nd century.

    It’s a modern roman catholic minor Basilica with a characteristic dome (55m high) shaped like a Madonna lily. The church that is the largest Christian church in Middle East was built in 1969 over the ruins of four (!) earlier churches that were built over the Grotto of the Annunciation. The first shrine was built during 4th century while later emperor Constantine I build a bigger byzantine structure that survived until 7th when the muslims conquered Palestine. Crusaders tried to build a new church during 12th century but it was never completed and was destroyed again by Baybars in 1260. Four centuries later Franciscans built a small structure to enclose the holy grotto and a new church was erected in 1730. The last one was demolished in 1957 and the one we see today was erected in 1969.

    Once inside the upper level where the church is I wasn’t really impressed, there was some luck of spiritual atmosphere but ok the numerous visitors in every corner didn’t help to enjoy my visit. There are many things to check inside, stained glass windows, sculptures and murals but worth to mention that this church is famous for the numerous mosaic paintings that commemorate the Annunciation, the church is full of such mosaics (also outside at the courtyard) showing Virgin Mary in different clothes and clothes according where the mosaic came from. Different communities from all over the world donated paintings and we can now enjoy a lovely diverse collection of dozens paintings, isn’t it amazing to see a Japanese Virgin Mary wearing a kimono? (pic 5)

    The lower level contains some remains of the old churches that date from Byzantine and Crusaders eras. There are also mosaics floors that were found inside the basilica. The grounds around the church house several archeological excavations from an old roman village (parts of houses, cisterns etc)

    The church is open Monday to Saturday 8.30-11.45 and 14-17.50 (in winter 9-11.45, 14-16.30), Sunday 14-17.30 (winter till 14.30)

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    a great mosaic collection of Virgin Mary

    by mindcrime Written Mar 29, 2014

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    Basilica of the Annunciation is famous for the numerous mosaic paintings that commemorate the Annunciation, the church is full of such mosaics showing Virgin Mary in different clothes and clothes according where the mosaic came from. There are so many of them (donated from many different countries from all over the world) that even the courtyard is full of them along the outside wall (hopefully as you can see on pic 1 they are located on a covered corridor), Although it was time to speed things up we spent some minutes checking each painting.

    It was interesting to see Virgin Mary through the point of view of different world regions reflecting differences in face, clothes and colors, in some of them you can see the country of origin in small details at the background while in others you can admire the minimalistic view (Korea) or the sadness of a byzantine icon (Greece). A great collection dedicated to Madonna…

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    St. Joseph’s church

    by mindcrime Written Mar 29, 2014

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    After visiting the basilica of Annunciation we went into the St. Joseph’s church (that is located nearby). This Franciscan church was built in 1914 in neo Romanesque style on the site of an earlier crusader church (12th century) on the spot where was believed the Joseph (father of Jesus) had his carpentry workshop so not a surprise Mary could see/be seen by him on daily basis :)

    The upper level houses the main church with its prayer hall with a simple fresco over the main altar(pic 2), there also paintings about Joseph and his workshop (pic 3), and although smaller the church is much more quieter than the basilica.

    In the lower level you can see archeological remains from Nazareth when was a small roman village of 1st century AD, including mosaics, caves, water pit, one of the caves supposed to be Joseph’s workshop. The caves, granaries and wells were used by the early dwellers of Nazareth but later Christians turned the site into a worship place.

    It’s open daily 9-noon and 14-17.30 (summer till 18.00)

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    Synagogue Church

    by mindcrime Written Mar 29, 2014

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    Not far from the Basilica of Annunciation we walked into Nazareth souq, the old arab market. In the middle of the market we saw the Synagogue Church, a small church that was built by the crusaders in 12th century AD. There’s a sign outside the church:

    According to the tradition, the Nazareth Synagogue where Jesus preached (Luke 4:16) stood on this spot. From the late twelfth century onwards, ilgrims reported visiting a church on the site. Adjacent to the Synagogue Church, is the parish church of Nazareth’s (built on 1887) Greek Catholic community.

    The main entrance is common for both churches leading to a small inner yard, the Synagogue Church is on the far left side but first we visited the greek catholic church that dates from late 19th century. It used to be under the control of Franciscans until the 18th century but Daher al-Omar passed it to the Melkite greek catholic church. There’s not something special to mention about the interiror as there’s not much to see inside the praying hall apart from some typical Christian paintings.

    But next to it is the Synagogue Church that dates from the 12th century, there’s a sign above the doorway clearly indicating “the synagogue”. The floor of the church is sunken about 1,5 meters underground and the place has a great history as the place where young Jesus learned, prayed and later preached here himself. According to Luke worshippers were pleased by his preach but later were filled with wrath, And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. But he passing through the midst of them went his way

    but according to Matthew they got angry because they knew him as a local and refused to honor him And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching

    It’s hard to know about those years of Jesus in Nazareth anyway, a period that is known as the silent years of Jesus, silence that broke only by his presence in the Synagogue. But all these stories make the visit to such places much more interesting even for those who are not believers.

    Unfortunately we couldn’t go down the seven steps as a lecture was taking place but if you can see it on pic 5, it is a small single hall structure with raised altar that contains a table with a cross and candles while above a painting showing Jesus preaching in the synagogue.

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    White Mosque

    by mindcrime Written Mar 29, 2014

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    Most visitors know Nazareth because of the churches so after seeing some of them we thought it was good idea to see a mosque too as we walked along the old market where we found this mosque!

    White Mosque is an ottoman mosque from early 19th century. It was built by Abdallah El Nini, a respected judge from Galillee that was preaching for love and respect and wrote in his will that the main responsibility of the mosque will be to respect with honor every religion, they actually try to unite different religion communities in Nazareth and I was happy to read that they send a delegation to represent the mosque on Christian holidays. El Nini became one of the most important religious scholars and was buried at the courtyard on the west side of the mosque.

    This was the first mosque in Nazareth that was completed in 1808 although was funded by the Egyptian ruler Suleiman Pash since 1785. It is named after the white stone it was used for the exterior but also as a symbol of purity and peace between all the different religions in Nazareth. I forgot to take a picture of the green dome and pencil-shaped minaret that dominates the skyline. Once inside a simple hall with fiver arches. There’s an additional prayer hall for women but we didn’t go there and missed the small museum with exhibits from Nazareth’s past.

    There’s no entrance fee but dress modestly, take off your shows on the carpets and better visit it in non prayer time.

    Outside the mosque is a tablet with information about the mosque (pic 2), this is something I liked in most attractions of the city, you get clear short but helpful information of what you have in front of you.

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    Nazareth City

    by machomikemd Written Sep 5, 2013
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    Nazareth, which began as a small Jewish village about 2,000 years ago, became a stronghold of Christianity in the Byzantine period, just a few hundred years later. During that period the name of Nazareth spread far and wide, and the yearnings to see the place where the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ had lived turned the city into a popular pilgrimage site. These visits led to the building of the city’s first church, the Church of the Annunciation at the traditional site of Joseph and Mary’s home. Many more churches have been built throughout the city, and were destroyed and rebuilt with the changes in Muslim and Christian rule over the centuries. In the 19th century Nazareth attracted renewed interest and Christians returned to live in this city and rebuilt churches and monasteries. Today Nazareth is the largest Arab city in Israel and has about 30 churches and monasteries, as well as mosques and ancient synagogues.

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    St. Joseph Church: Crypts and Ancient Church 2

    by machomikemd Written Sep 5, 2013
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    part two of my tips with more pictures of the cypts and the remains of the crusader and byzantine church at the underground of the Saint Joseph Church. There are side stairs from the top of the church that are leading to the lower floor, where there’s crypt holding archeological remains from the Nazareth village times as well as the cave used as Joseph's workshop and remains of the Crusader Church.

    The Saint Joseph Church is Part of the Huge Basilica of the Annunciation (at the Northern Side, just after the Building housing the Basilica's offices and convent) as they say that Joseph and Mary were neighbors and this site of the church is purportedly the bibilica location of Saint Joseph's house and Carpentry Shop, where Jesus learn to be a carpenter before he embarked on his ministry. Some of the traditions also claim this was Joseph's house. This Franciscan church was established in 1914 over the ruins of more ancient churches (Byzantine and Crusader) and the underground crypts show part of these church ruins and carpentry remains of the Saint Joseph House. In the crypt (the lower level of the church) there’s an ancient water pit, mosaics, caves and barns from ancient Nazareth that has survived since the 1st and 2nd centuries B.C. One of the cave, according to tradition, was used as Joseph's workshop. The church also reflects the Jewish roots of Christianity: in the past, the Christian prayers has accepted the Jewish bathe commandment and built ritual baths in the church to do so

    Open Hours:
    Winter - Monday to Saturday, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Summer - Saturday to Sunday, 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM

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    St. Joseph Church: Crypts and Ancient Church 1

    by machomikemd Written Sep 5, 2013
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    this will be my pictures of the cypts and the remains of the crusader and byzantine church at the underground of the Saint Joseph Church. There are side stairs from the top of the church that are leading to the lower floor, where there’s crypt holding archeological remains from the Nazareth village times as well as the cave used as Joseph's workshop and remains of the Crusader Church.

    The Saint Joseph Church is Part of the Huge Basilica of the Annunciation (at the Northern Side, just after the Building housing the Basilica's offices and convent) as they say that Joseph and Mary were neighbors and this site of the church is purportedly the bibilica location of Saint Joseph's house and Carpentry Shop, where Jesus learn to be a carpenter before he embarked on his ministry. Some of the traditions also claim this was Joseph's house. This Franciscan church was established in 1914 over the ruins of more ancient churches (Byzantine and Crusader) and the underground crypts show part of these church ruins and carpentry remains of the Saint Joseph House. In the crypt (the lower level of the church) there’s an ancient water pit, mosaics, caves and barns from ancient Nazareth that has survived since the 1st and 2nd centuries B.C. One of the cave, according to tradition, was used as Joseph's workshop. The church also reflects the Jewish roots of Christianity: in the past, the Christian prayers has accepted the Jewish bathe commandment and built ritual baths in the church to do so

    Open Hours:
    Winter - Monday to Saturday, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Summer - Saturday to Sunday, 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM

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    St. Joseph Church: Inside the Church

    by machomikemd Written Sep 5, 2013
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    This will be on the inside of the church. The church is built in a Neo Romanski style, based on the foundations of the ancient Crusader church which was destroyed in the 13th century. It has 3 long halls ending with 3 enceintes on the east, built over Crusaders’ remains.

    The Saint Joseph Church is Part of the Huge Basilica of the Annunciation (at the Northern Side, just after the Building housing the Basilica's offices and convent) as they say that Joseph and Mary were neighbors and this site of the church is purportedly the bibilica location of Saint Joseph's house and Carpentry Shop, where Jesus learn to be a carpenter before he embarked on his ministry. Some of the traditions also claim this was Joseph's house. This Franciscan church was established in 1914 over the ruins of more ancient churches (Byzantine and Crusader) and the underground crypts show part of these church ruins and carpentry remains of the Saint Joseph House. In the crypt (the lower level of the church) there’s an ancient water pit, mosaics, caves and barns from ancient Nazareth that has survived since the 1st and 2nd centuries B.C. One of the cave, according to tradition, was used as Joseph's workshop. The church also reflects the Jewish roots of Christianity: in the past, the Christian prayers has accepted the Jewish bathe commandment and built ritual baths in the church to do so

    Open Hours:
    Winter - Monday to Saturday, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Summer - Saturday to Sunday, 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM

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    St. Joseph Church: Overview

    by machomikemd Updated Sep 5, 2013
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    The Saint Joseph Church is Part of the Huge Basilica of the Annunciation (at the Northern Side, just after the Building housing the Basilica's offices and convent) as they say that Joseph and Mary were neighbors and this site of the church is purportedly the bibilica location of Saint Joseph's house and Carpentry Shop, where Jesus learn to be a carpenter before he embarked on his ministry. Some of the traditions also claim this was Joseph's house. This Franciscan church was established in 1914 over the ruins of more ancient churches (Byzantine and Crusader) and the underground crypts show part of these church ruins and carpentry remains of the Saint Joseph House. In the crypt (the lower level of the church) there’s an ancient water pit, mosaics, caves and barns from ancient Nazareth that has survived since the 1st and 2nd centuries B.C. One of the cave, according to tradition, was used as Joseph's workshop. The church also reflects the Jewish roots of Christianity: in the past, the Christian prayers has accepted the Jewish bathe commandment and built ritual baths in the church to do so

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    Basilica of the Annunciation: Mosaic Paintings

    by machomikemd Written Sep 5, 2013
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    Around the Church Yardn and in the church walls are various mosaic paintings commemorating the Annunciation, donated by various Christians from Countries around the World. Each painting was given by a different country and is reflecting the national motives of the country it was made at.

    The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jersusalem (traditionaly is where Jesus was crucified and was buried) and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem maybe the most famous Christian Sites in the Holy Land, but the Basilica of the Annunciation is the Largest Christian Church in the Middle East. The Church is located in the center of the City of Nazareth, on Casa Nova Street. It stands over the site that was believed to be the site of Mary's house, where angel Gabriel appeared and announced to Mary that she is about to give birth of Jesus (Luke 1). This current church was rebuilt in 1969 and stands at 4 previous Byzantine and Crusader Churches. The church is the traditional site of the Annunciation of Mary and her house is located at the lower level of the church. Roman Catholics and Protestants and Evengelicals consider this site as the traditional site while the Orthodox Churches have an alternate site built along the Mary's Spring, Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation was erected at that alternate site.

    the church is open to the public from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm everyday and is under the custody of the Franciscan Roman Catholic Order.

    according to wikipedia:

    The church was established at the site where, according to Roman Catholic tradition, the Annunciation took place. Greek Orthodox tradition holds that this event occurred while Mary was drawing water from a local spring in Nazareth, and the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation was erected at that alternate site.

    The current church is a two-story building constructed in 1969 over the site of an earlier Byzantine-era and then Crusader-era church. Inside, the lower level contains the Grotto of the Annunciation, believed by many Christians to be the remains of the original childhood home of Mary. Under Roman Catholic canon law, the church enjoys the status of a minor basilica.[1] A historically significant site, considered sacred within some circles of Christianity, particularly Catholicism, the basilica attracts many Catholic, Anglican, and Eastern Orthodox Christian visitors every year.

    The first shrine was probably built sometime in the middle of the 4th century, comprising an altar in the cave in which Mary had lived. A larger structure was commissioned by Emperor Constantine I, who had directed his mother, Saint Helena, to found churches commemorating important events in Jesus Christ's life. The Church of the Annunciation was founded around the same time as the Church of the Nativity (the birthplace) and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (the tomb). Some version of it was known to have still been in existence around 570 AD, but it was destroyed in the 7th century after the Muslim conquest of Palestine.[citation needed]

    The second church was built over the ruins of the Byzantine era church during the Crusades, following the conquest of Nazareth by Tancred in 1102.[2] The Crusader era church was never fully completed. Five Romanesque capitals carved by artists from northern France, and discovered during excavations in 1909, had not yet been installed in 1187 when news of Saladin's victory in the Battle of Hittin reached the city.[2] Saladin granted permission to Franciscan priests to remain in Nazareth to oversee services at the church.[2]


    The Church of the Annunciation, interior (about 1925)
    In 1260, Baybars and his Mamluk army destroyed the church during their attack on Nazareth.[2] A small number of Franciscans managed to stay in Nazareth until the fall of Acre in 1291. In the three centuries that followed, the Franciscans were in and out of Nazareth, depending on the local political situation, which was constantly in flux. Franciscan accounts of this period document their expulsion in 1363, their return in 1468 and a massacre of some of their members in 1542. Local Christian families with Franciscan support helped take care of the church as well during this period.[3]

    Emir Fakr ad-Din granted the Franciscans permission to return in 1620, at which time they constructed a small structure to enclose the holy grotto that is venerated as the house of Mary.[3] In 1730, Dhaher al-Omar permitted construction of a new church, which became a central gathering place for Nazareth Latin community. The church was enlarged in 1877, and then completely demolished in 1954 to allow for the construction of a new basilica, which was completed in 1969.[3] The new basilica was designed by the Italian architect Giovanni Muzio, and built by the Israeli building firm Solel Boneh during the years 1960-69. Used by the Latin parish, it remains under the control of the Franciscans. It is the largest Christian sanctuary in the Middle East, and was dedicated in 1964 by Pope Paul VI.

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    Basilica of the Annunciation: Outside Excavations

    by machomikemd Written Sep 5, 2013
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    This will be my pictures of the excavations of the ancient Crusader and Byzantine Churches and the Traditional house of the Virgin Mary, of which the excavations extend outside of the Church.

    The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jersusalem (traditionaly is where Jesus was crucified and was buried) and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem maybe the most famous Christian Sites in the Holy Land, but the Basilica of the Annunciation is the Largest Christian Church in the Middle East. The Church is located in the center of the City of Nazareth, on Casa Nova Street. It stands over the site that was believed to be the site of Mary's house, where angel Gabriel appeared and announced to Mary that she is about to give birth of Jesus (Luke 1). This current church was rebuilt in 1969 and stands at 4 previous Byzantine and Crusader Churches. The church is the traditional site of the Annunciation of Mary and her house is located at the lower level of the church. Roman Catholics and Protestants and Evengelicals consider this site as the traditional site while the Orthodox Churches have an alternate site built along the Mary's Spring, Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation was erected at that alternate site.

    the church is open to the public from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm everyday and is under the custody of the Franciscan Roman Catholic Order.

    according to wikipedia:

    The church was established at the site where, according to Roman Catholic tradition, the Annunciation took place. Greek Orthodox tradition holds that this event occurred while Mary was drawing water from a local spring in Nazareth, and the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation was erected at that alternate site.

    The current church is a two-story building constructed in 1969 over the site of an earlier Byzantine-era and then Crusader-era church. Inside, the lower level contains the Grotto of the Annunciation, believed by many Christians to be the remains of the original childhood home of Mary. Under Roman Catholic canon law, the church enjoys the status of a minor basilica.[1] A historically significant site, considered sacred within some circles of Christianity, particularly Catholicism, the basilica attracts many Catholic, Anglican, and Eastern Orthodox Christian visitors every year.

    The first shrine was probably built sometime in the middle of the 4th century, comprising an altar in the cave in which Mary had lived. A larger structure was commissioned by Emperor Constantine I, who had directed his mother, Saint Helena, to found churches commemorating important events in Jesus Christ's life. The Church of the Annunciation was founded around the same time as the Church of the Nativity (the birthplace) and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (the tomb). Some version of it was known to have still been in existence around 570 AD, but it was destroyed in the 7th century after the Muslim conquest of Palestine.[citation needed]

    The second church was built over the ruins of the Byzantine era church during the Crusades, following the conquest of Nazareth by Tancred in 1102.[2] The Crusader era church was never fully completed. Five Romanesque capitals carved by artists from northern France, and discovered during excavations in 1909, had not yet been installed in 1187 when news of Saladin's victory in the Battle of Hittin reached the city.[2] Saladin granted permission to Franciscan priests to remain in Nazareth to oversee services at the church.[2]


    The Church of the Annunciation, interior (about 1925)
    In 1260, Baybars and his Mamluk army destroyed the church during their attack on Nazareth.[2] A small number of Franciscans managed to stay in Nazareth until the fall of Acre in 1291. In the three centuries that followed, the Franciscans were in and out of Nazareth, depending on the local political situation, which was constantly in flux. Franciscan accounts of this period document their expulsion in 1363, their return in 1468 and a massacre of some of their members in 1542. Local Christian families with Franciscan support helped take care of the church as well during this period.[3]

    Emir Fakr ad-Din granted the Franciscans permission to return in 1620, at which time they constructed a small structure to enclose the holy grotto that is venerated as the house of Mary.[3] In 1730, Dhaher al-Omar permitted construction of a new church, which became a central gathering place for Nazareth Latin community. The church was enlarged in 1877, and then completely demolished in 1954 to allow for the construction of a new basilica, which was completed in 1969.[3] The new basilica was designed by the Italian architect Giovanni Muzio, and built by the Israeli building firm Solel Boneh during the years 1960-69. Used by the Latin parish, it remains under the control of the Franciscans. It is the largest Christian sanctuary in the Middle East, and was dedicated in 1964 by Pope Paul VI.

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