The city of Nazareth is one of the most important cities in the world for Christians. Tourists from all over the world visit it to see several holy places located here. The city has many churches and religious sites, some of which are linked, according to the Christian faith, to significant events that took place here. According to the New Testament, Mary, the mother of Jesus, and her husband Joseph lived in the city of Nazareth. If you are looking for a trip to Nazareth, and dream of seeing the city’s unique and exciting places, keep reading.
The Catholic Church Of The Annunciation
This church is located in the center of Nazareth city. It is considered one of the largest, most impressive, and most influential churches for Christians. According to the Christian tradition, the angel Gabriel announced to Mary at this place that she was pregnant and carrying Jesus in her womb. That is how this church got its name – the Church of the Annunciation. It is large and magnificent – tens of thousands of tourists from all over the world visit it. Those who have visited Italy may see a certain resemblance to its magnificent basilicas. In the churchyard, you can see mosaic pictures that were donated by Christian countries, especially for this church. Explore the inside areas of the impressive basilica and visit the Holy Mary’s Cave.
The Synagogue Church is in the center of the city’s old market. It is referred to as such because this building was used as a synagogue in the past. Some people believe Jesus, being a Jew, used to come here regularly to pray. They also believe Jesus declared himself the Messiah at this place and began to be persecuted by those who opposed him. To escape from his persecutors, Jesus jumped from the top of the Mount of the Leap (also known as Mount Precipice).
Mount Precipice (Mount of the leap)
Mount Precipice rises to a height of about 400 meters above sea level and provides a spectacular view of the city’s landscape. According to the Christian tradition, it is believed that Jesus, who grew up in Nazareth, jumped from the top of this mountain and, as a result, was saved from his persecutors – hence the name of the mountain – Mount of the Leap. Pope Benedict XVI visited Israel in 2009 and held a mass at the edge of Mount Precipice. More than 45,000 faithful from Israel and abroad came for this mass.
Mary’s Well is located in the middle of HaMa’ayan Square in the center of Nazareth city. According to the Christian tradition, Mary used to come here to draw water from the spring, and some believe this is the place where she met the angel Gabriel who told her about her pregnancy with Jesus (as opposed to others who believe the event happened in the Church of the Annunciation). Around the well is a large square, believed to have been a lively part of the city at that time.
Saint Gabriel Church – The Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation
The Church of St. Gabriel is in the heart of Nazareth, north of Mary’s Well. It is considered an important site for Christians because the event of the Annunciation is believed to have taken place here close to Mary’s Well. The church’s well-preserved, impressive and beautiful structure makes it worth a visit.
Other places worth visiting:
The Franciscan Monastery – Located next to the Catholic Church of the Annunciation.
St. Joseph’s Church – A French-style church established in 1941.
Nazareth at Christmas
Every year, the city of Nazareth celebrates Christmas, which is linked to the Christian religion and is celebrated to mark the birth of Jesus. During this period, the city is decorated, and it looks colorful. Many events are held throughout the city to celebrate this holiday.
In the middle of HaMa’ayan Square, a Christmas tree is built annually – some claim it is the largest in Israel and the Middle East. Adjacent to the square is a stage for performances that take place at Christmas, showing local bands and singers. The firework display is held here to announce the opening of Christmas celebrations. Along the streets near HaMa’ayan Square, the famous Christmas market is held every year. It features food, clothing, and toy stalls – everyone here is in the festive holiday mood during this period.
For those who want to spend the night in the city during the festivities, get a 10% discount when you stay at the Avraham Hostels in Israel, and Nazareth. Visit their website and enter the coupon code: SHVIL to get a discount.
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