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Israel's Famous Landmarks: 6 Must-See Spots in Nazareth

Israel's Famous Landmarks: 6 Must-See Spots in Nazareth
Christian pilgrims visit the Catholic Church of the Annunciation, believed to stand at the site of Mary's house where angel Gabriel appeared and announced that she would give birth to Jesus Christ, in the Galilee city of Nazareth in northern Israel. (Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images, file)

By    |   Sunday, 05 October 2014 02:52 PM

Nazareth is a popular tourist destination holding famous landmarks for Christians because it was Jesus’ hometown.

Today, Nazareth is known as the “Arab capital of Israel,” with a largely Arab population comprised of Christians and Muslims.

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Here are six must-see spots in Nazareth.

1. The Galillee region cradles the city of Nazareth in its ranges of high-peaked hills, lush forests, fertile river bed, and streams of all sizes. The mountainous region is an ideal place to sight-see with a hike or nature walk. On your journey, you can step into various Druze and Arab villages for a peek at modern life in the area, check out the region’s national antiquities parks and farming communities, or visit many Christian holy sites.

2. Church of the Annunciation
is one of the world’s holiest Christian sites and is considered a must-see for Catholic and Orthodox pilgrims alike. The basilica was built in 1969 on the traditional site of Joseph and Mary’s home. Mass and the Eucharist are celebrated in the church’s grotto.

3. Nazareth Village gives visitors a chance to fully immerse themselves in the life and times of Jesus of Nazareth. The village is staffed by costumed natives of the city who guide you through a Parable Walk inspired by Jesus’ teachings. Along the way, sights and sounds include donkeys and goats roaming the hillside, women drawing water and baking bread, and men working the soil and shepherding. The sensory tour is woven around Biblical passages and is designed to make scriptures come to life.

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4. The Church of St. Gabriel or the Greek Church of the Annunciation continues the sensory experience with Mary’s Well, believed to be the site where Mary drew water every day and the Angel Gabriel told Mary she would give birth to Jesus. Visitors say the stone walls and cool water transport them back more than 2,000 years to imagine women visiting the well in the city where Jesus was a boy. The church features walls colorfully painted with Gospel scenes, and is used by Christians living in Nazareth today.

5. The Jesus Trail is a 45-mile hiking trail outside of Galilee that allows travelers to experience the steps of Jesus through a sensory experience. The trail begins in Nazareth and passes through Zippori National Park, the old land of Cana, the Jesus Boat at Kibbutz Ginosar, the Mount of Beatitudes, and concludes at Capernaum.

6. The White Mosque was built in 1785 and features spectacular Ottoman architecture. The mosque includes a high turret visible from various vantage points in Nazareth. The White Mosque serves as a present day house of prayer and seeks to convey a message of peace and mutual respect among people.

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Nazareth is a popular tourist destination holding famous landmarks for Christians because it was Jesus' hometown.
israel, famous, landmarks, nazareth
Sunday, 05 October 2014 02:52 PM
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