Situated in a small tree-lined square near the basilica, Mary's Well is a functioning well that has been Nazareth's main water supply since ancient times. It is believed to be the well from which Mary and her young son Jesus regularly fetched water.
Nazareth is an Arab town with a population of 70,000 people...2/3 Muslim and 1/3 Christian, who are not necessarily believers! Although Nazareth was the home town of Jesus, sadly today there is not a big Christian witness there. People know about Jesus but they don't know him. The relationship between Muslims and Christians is calm at the moment, but there are tensions under the surface which often come to the surface. It's a pressure being a Christian there.
The basilica blessed by Pope Paul VI in 1964 while in construction, and consecrated by Cardinal Garrone on March 23, 1969, is the largest modern sacred building in Israel.
Off to the right is the Hill of the Precipitation.
Photo taken on the road from Tabor to Afula. Nazareth was on top of the mountain to the right. It extended behind the front ridge including behind the mountain where the road cut is. This mountain to the left is called Mount Precipice. According to tradition this is the place where the henchmen of Nazareth tried to put an end to Jesus' ministry. Luke 4:28-29: "All the people in the synagogue were filled with anger when they heard this. They rose up, dragged Jesus out of town, and took him to the top of the hill on which their town was built, to throw him over the cliff. But he walked through the middle of the crowd and went his way".
The nearby Church of St Joseph houses the remains of Crusader bas-reliefs, capitals and inscriptions found during the Church’s construction.
The Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth is one of the most important sites in the Christian world, constructed over the location of the Annunciation. The walls of the upper sanctuary are decorated with panels depicting scenes from the life of Mary that have been donated by Catholic communities from around the world.
Nazareth is one of the most important Christian holy sites attracting pilgrims from all over the world. It was here that Jesus spent most of his life and it was here that the Miracle of the Annunciation took place in the Grotto of the Virgin: This site is believed to be the place where the Angel announced to the Virgin Mary that she was to become a mother. The altar bears the inscription: “Verbum caro hic factum est – Here the Word was made flesh”. The copper baldachin over the grotto is of Belgian workmanship.
The sanctuary of the House of Mary in the basilica of the Annunciation, Nazareth
… Of the house itself, only remains what has been hewn in the rock, where a simple chapel has been installed. Under the flower-covered altar is written in Latin “Here the Word was made flesh”.
Designed by the architect Giovanni Muzio, the present Basilica of the Annunciation is built on two levels. The upper level follows the outline of the 12th-century Crusader- cathedral (a nave, flanked by two aisles), and partly reconstructs the eastern apses. The lower level enshrines the Byzantine grotto.
Nazareth: City of Jesus. “The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin... and the virgin’s name was Mary... and he came to her and said. Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!.. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.” - Luke 1:26-32.
On the main facade of the basilica is written: "Verbum caro factum est et habitavit in nobis - The Word was made flesh and has lived among us".
Nazareth is one of the most important Christian holy sites in the world, and has long been a special haven for Christian pilgrims. The city has a unique mixture of European and Middle Eastern ambiance as can be seen in its architecture, which is a combination of Gothic or Neoclassical style with typical Middle Eastern style. Its Arab population is renowned for their warm hospitality and exotic food.
The large Basilica of the Assumption, built in 1969, overlooks the Nazareth landscape. According to Catholics, the basilica marks the site of Mary's house and the Annunciation (when the angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she would bear the Savior). Inside are remains of earlier structures, including the Grotto of the Annunciation, mosaics and sculptures.
Nazareth which lays in the lower Galilee not far from the lake of the Sea of Galilee, is a small city of mainly modern appearance. It is a mix of races and religions. A large town in the Arab part of Israel, it is an important Christian locality. As the site of the Angel's Annunciation to the Virgin Mary and the place where Jesus spent most of his life, it has attracted Christian pilgrims for the last 1,500 years.
Nazareth is home to both Christians and Muslims (the largest Arab population left in Israel) and is a quaint amalgamation of red roofs and white churches dotted along the slopes of the Galilean hillside. Breathtaking views can be enjoyed from the summit, which looks out onto the Jezreel Valley. A large town in the Arab part of Israel, it is an important Christian locality. As the site of the Angel's Annunciation to the Virgin Mary and the place where Jesus spent most of his life, it has attracted Christian pilgrims for the last 1,500 years.
A real visit to Nazareth is much more than just a tour of the Old City. One of the basic rules for understanding Nazareth is to get to know its surrounding landscape: a horsehoe-shaped alley whose concave side faces the Jezreel Valley. At one end of the horseshoe, on the open side, a large cliff steeply drops down to the valley's fields.
Since 1967, the water in the territories was placed under military control and Arab residents were forbidden to dig new wells, whereas Jewish colonies would do it without any restriction whatsoever. According to a World Bank report, 90% of water in Cisjordan is used to Israel’s profit, Palestinians getting only the other 10%. Too complex, the water issue has been postponed until the final negotiations.
The River Jordan
Tourists never stop wondering at the surprising depth of this water lake. Along the road pillars remind them of the altitude.
The Sea of Galilee, Yam Kinneret in Hebrew, is in the Jordan Valley 210 m below the Mediterranean Sea level. It is 12 km wide and 21 km long and covers an area of 170 km² and has a depth of 46 m at its deepest point. It serves as Israel's largest reservoir of sweet water. Gila Toledano, the Israeli guide, stands beneath a tourist information panel.
Susita, one of many Hellenistic cities found throughout the East, Caesarea Philippi, the capital of the Golan in the time of Jesus and the site of one of the most important episodes in the New Testament, Mount Hermon, one of the traditional sites of the transfiguration, and Kursi, the site of the miracle of the swine, are all situated within minutes of ancient synagogues, churches, villages, and medieval fortresses - the historic legacy on the Golan.
|Le Golan annexé et le Liban sud occupé par Israël
Au coeur de la négociation israélo-syrienne
Israel has securized its northern frontier, on one side, with the annexation of the Golan shelf conquered in 1967, and on the other side, with the occupation of South Lebanon until May 2000. The 1923 border line and the June 1967 cease-fire line between Israel and Syria are both at stake in the peace negotiations.
The Golan is a traveler's dream destination. Its natural landscape comprises wide-open spaces, woodlands and water-filled canyons, hot springs and ski slopes. Its wild life includes elegant leopards and wolves, bashful gazelles and timid rock rabbits, vultures and eagles, and much, much more. The history of man in the Golan dates back to prehistoric times. Many of the area's most ancient archaeological ruins, such as its Stonehenge-like megalithic circles, remain undeciphered. The Golan is clotted with the archaeological records of various periods and cultures, including those of the Greek world and early Christianity.
The gospels give us a clear picture of Jesus’ activity at Capernaum, what he did on the lakeshore and in particular in the synagogue and in the house of "Peter and Andrew" (Mk 1: 29). This house was not only the place where Jesus lived, but was a "house of formation" for his disciples, a beautiful and eloquent image of the Church. The evangelist Mark sheds more light on Peter’s house in the mystery of the Church.
After proclaiming the parables and other teachings to the crowds nearby at Tabgha, place of the "public teaching", Jesus would give the "private teaching" back at Peter’s house: "To you has been given to know the mystery of God’s kingdom; but to those outside everything is told in parables" (Mk 4: 11).
'''Capernaum''' (Kfar Nahum) was a settlement on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. The site is a ruin today, but was inhabited from 150 BC to about AD 750. The town is known for its mention in the New Testament gospels, and was reported to have been the home of the apostles Peter, Andrew, James, and John, as well as the tax collector Matthew. According to the gospels, Jesus taught in the synagogue in Capernaum, and the building of that period has been found beneath the remains of a later synagogue. One house in the village was venerated as the house of Peter the fisherman as early as the 2nd century AD, with two churches having been constructed over it.
The Ein Gev kibbutz, founded in 1937, could only be reached by water until 1967. The road connection which had been made in 1941 was broken in 1948 when the Syrians advanced up to the lake. On the sea shore a vast restaurant offers the famous St Peter's fish which the tourists eat with relish.
As a body of (fresh) water in the Middle East go, the Sea of Galilee is quite large. It's about 20 kilometers from north to south, and 12 kilometers east to west at its widest. The Jordan River effectively flows through the Sea of Galilee, entering in the north and exiting in the south.
The residents of the Golan today are another reason to visit this area. From the Druze villagers in the northern mountains to the Jewish kibbutz and moshav farmers of the southern tableland, the people of the Golan are deeply attached to the soil.
Farmers and cattlemen, apple growers and vintners, they make this region one of the most productive In Israel, as well as one of the most inviting.
Along its shores Jesus recruited several of his disciples. The well-known story of Peter walking on the water took place here. This is also where Jesus calmed the storm.