5 Places in Nazareth You Should Visit
Nazareth, in Hebrew, Nazerat; in Arabic, En-Nasra, is described in the New Testament as the city Jesus spent his childhood, therefore it is a must-see for any Christian. The historic city is located in the Galilee region, in the northern part of Israel. As of 2021, Nazareth’ss population is estimated to be around 77,780 people, while 71% of the city population are Muslim, and the remaining 29% are Christians.
Nazareth- The first landmark in Jesus Trail
The city of Nazareth is the first landmark of Jesus Trail. The Jesus Trail is a 65 KM route, in the Galilee region. It was established by Maoz Inon, a Jewish Israeli entrepreneur, and David Landis, a Christian American hiking specialist. The trail was marked during 2008 and these days it is being managed by volunteers. The trail follows the journey Jesus may have walked and it passes many interesting places such as the Sea of Galilee, Capernaum, Jordan River, etc. Nazareth is the first landmark of the trail. Any hiker who wishes to complete the trail would most probably start his/her walk-in Nazareth.
Nazareth in the old and new Testament
Nazareth is not mentioned in the old Testament. Having said that some scholars claim that the city is mentioned indirectly in the book of Zechariah Chapter 11. In the New Testament, the word Nazareth can be spotted in many cases. The word Nazareth is mentioned in more than 25 different verses. Here are some important verses with the word Nazareth.
“In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee”
“He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day, he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read”
“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil because God was with him”
“And he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: “He will be called a Nazarene.”
Five places to see in Nazareth
Nazareth is such an interesting place, there are so many places that could easily be included in this list. We have picked the five places we believe are a must-visit if you arrive in Nazareth. If you have more time, and you are not constrained by a group timeline, you may also consider Nazareth’s surroundings, such as Cana (Kafr Kanna) and The remains of ancient Zippori.
Basilica of the Annunciation
One of the most important churches in Israel. This is a Catholic church that was established over the site where Catholic tradition believe was the house of virgin Mary. This is the house where Mary was when angel Gabriel appeared to her and announced that she would conceive and bear the Son of God, Jesus – an event known as the Annunciation.
View of the Basilica of the Annunciation
Mary of Nazareth International Center
This is one of the newest attractions in Nazareth and it was first open to the market in 2011. The center is located just next to the Basilica of the Annunciation. The center offers an audio-visual tour of the Holy Land and the life of Marry and Jesus. The building itself is a 4- floor building from the 17th century. The visitor can enjoy a one-hour show, which is presented in 4 rooms with 3D effects and sounds effects. On the rooftop, the center offers an amazing view of the city of Nazareth and the Basilica of the Annunciation.
Mary of Nazareth International Center
This church may be small, but it has significant importance, in the Christian tradition. The Greek–Orthodox church is in the middle of the municipal market of Nazareth. In ancient times the building was a synagogue and in 1887, a newer church was established next to it. According to Christian tradition, the church is built on the ruins of the ancient Nazareth synagogue where Jesus studied and prayed.
The church is believed by some to be the site of the Rejection of Jesus described in the Gospel of Luke (Luke 4:29-30). According to the story, the people of Nazareth, not accepting Jesus as Messiah tried to push him from the mountain, but he passed through the midst of them and went away.
Gabriel’s Church and Mary’s Well
Mary’s well the site where, according to the Catholic tradition, Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, mother of Jesus, and announced that she would bear the Son of God – an event known as the Annunciation.
The Church of St. Gabriel is the Orthodox counterpart to the Catholic Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth. According to Orthodox tradition, the Virgin Mary first received the news from Gabriel that she would bear the Savior while she was out fetching water. The church was built over the spring where Merry used to fetch water.
Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth
Old Market of Nazarth
One of the most fascinating markets in Israel. The market attracts tourists, but it is also a preferred market for locals who live in Nazareth and for shoppers that come from out of town. The market was established in the 17th Century and a major evolution took place during the 19th century. Most of the city attractions are located around or very close to the market. The market was renovated as preparation for the visit of Pope John Paul II in March 2000. Whenever you visit Nazareth, make sure you allocate few hours, to experience the old market. There is so much to see. The food you can find in the market in particular and in Nazareth is probably the one of best in the world.
Old market of Nazareth
- Wikipedia: https://he.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D7%A0%D7%A6%D7%A8%D7%AA
- Britannica: https://www.britannica.com/place/Nazareth-Israel