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Nazareth


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Nazareth is very important to the Christian faith, as it is widely believed to be the home of Mary and Joseph and the infant Jesus and home to some of the most important Christian shrines. Nazareth remains the center of the Christian mission movement in the Holy Land. It is also the largest Arab city in Israel, its population approximately half Christian and half Muslim. The 1950s saw the establishment of Nazareth Illit, a large Jewish industrial town which surrounds Nazareth.
The main places of interest, as in Jerusalem, are located in the old city dominated by its souq (market). The Basilica of Annunciation is believed to be the site where the Archangel Gabriel appeared to Mary to tell her that she was bearing Jesus, the son of God. On the lower floor is a sunken enclosure believed to be the traditional site of Mary’s house, while the upper level is still used for services, decorated with murals of Mary and the infant Jesus. Next to the Basilica are St. Joseph’s Church, where Joseph’s carpentry shop is believed to have stood, and the School of Jesus the Adolescent, built in 1918 in a mock-Gothic style. The Basilica is one of the most beautiful of Nazareth’s churches, offering fantastic views.
Next to the Greek Orthodox Church of St. Gabriel’s is Mary’s Well, where Mary collected water and where the Christian Orthodox believe the Annunciation took place. The water is reputed to this day to have healing power. The Greek Catholic Synagogue –Church is assumed in tradition to be where Jesus regularly prayed and later taught.
The old market is distinctive because of its winding steep streets and alleys with shops and market stalls. It is a working market with shops, cafes and restaurants enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. Enjoy a wonderfully memorable experience by visiting ‘Nazareth Village’, a museum recreating life in Nazareth as it was 2,000 years ago. The museum offers a unique window on the city’s history and the life of Jesus.
Nazareth has many places to stay from 5-star hotel to youth hostels. The city presents a good number of restaurants and cafes providing exceptional quality of food with typically Arab hospitality.
Nazareth, a place not to be missed.
Sephoris, a village near Nazareth, is considered the birth place of Mary’s parents, Joachim and Anna.