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Nazareth

Nazareth, in the lower Galilee, is located in the heart of a valley surrounded by mountains that embrace several of the most important Christian sites in the world. This is a city of religion and faith, of spirituality and holiness, but also a city with a rich history, fascinating archaeology, modern culture and Middle Eastern charm. It is called the cradle of Christianity!

During an archaeological excavation in 1962 an inscription fragment was discovered in Caesarea Marittima mentioning Nazareth for the first time, two more fragments that were excavated listed the places where priests resettled after Hadrian expelled Jews from Jerusalem 135 A.D. The discovered fragments dated to the third or fourth century from a synagogue plaque. Two thousand years ago Nazareth, a small farming village with only two to four hundred inhabitants, was considered of little consequence at that time.

Nazareth of the New Testament times was such a modest place. Because of the rocky nature of the village, the villagers built their houses from field stones and bricks and sometimes incorporated the caves into their houses. For example, a house might be built over or in front of a cave, so that the cave served as a back room or stable. Over the time the mud bricks and field sticks disappeared. That left little or nothing of the archaeological remains to be revealed, except for rock surfaces and caves.

According to the New Testament Joseph and Mary’s homes were in the old city of Nazareth. The spots identified representing their homes are caves that go back to the sixth century A.D. the old city is filled with many other important Christian sites.

It is believed that the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary at her house, which was represented as a cave, thus the house/cave is also known as the Grotto of the Annunciation according to the Western tradition. A magnificent Roman Catholic Basilica was built there. According to the Greek Orthodox tradition the annunciation occurred at the village spring, the site of the spring is marked today by the Greek Orthodox Church of St. Gabriel.

City
Nazareth
Languages spoken
English , Arabic , Hebrew
Currency used
ILS , USD
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