Nazareth is most known for being the childhood home of Jesus, as well as the place of annunciation where Mary received the message that she would give birth to Jesus (Luke 1:26). The biblical record also cites Nazareth as the place where Jesus began his ministry in the temple, after which an angry mob attempted to throw him off of a cliff (Luke 4:16-30).
What to See in Nazareth
In downtown Nazareth you can visit the Church of the Annunciation, built in the 1970’s on the site of earlier Crusader and Byzantine churches. This is the largest church in the Middle East and features mosaic artwork of Mary and Jesus from all around the world, donated by various countries. Other churches located in or near the Old City market include the Synagogue Church– a Melkite Greek Catholic church commemorating the synagogue where Jesus announced his ministry, Saint Gabriel’s Orthodox Church near Mary’s Well–the tradition Orthodox site of the Annunciation, Mensa Christi Church which houses a stone attributed to be where Jesus shared a meal following the resurrection, and Saint Joseph’s Church where Joseph was believed to have had his workshop.
Modern Day Nazareth
Modern day residents of the city are mostly Muslim or Christian. Its beautiful Old Town is characterized by authentic architecture, steep steps, and cozy narrow streets housing many small businesses such as coffee houses, hostels, arts and crafts stores, spice mills and local street food dispensaries. The Old Town bazaar is generally active during the day; the other sites of interest include the White Mosque, Synagogue Church, El Babour Mill, Mt. Precipice, and the recreation of 1st century life in Nazareth found at Nazareth Village. Nazareth is home to countless churches, monasteries, seminaries, and other religious institutions of various Christian denominations, as well as many hotels, guesthouses, restaurants and shopping centers.