Gary and Debbie's Israel Trip 2016 travel blog

Church is St. Gabriel

Inside the church

Looking down the well

Having a bible reading at the synagogue

Street in Nazareth

Basilica of the Announciation

Mary's Grotto

The church walls have pictures from many countries of Mary.

Renewing wedding vows

Nazareth is a hillside city near Mt Tabor. It is religiously fascinating, but visually disappointing. After centuries as a small Christian village, it welcomed refugees after world war. It suffers from no planning, crowded streets and terrible traffic. It's now 70% Muslim.

But it has great sites about Virgin Mary. The Church of St. Gabriel, which is owned by the Orthodox Christians is built over Mary's Well, the site where the first Announciation occurred when Gabriel first approached Mary at the well, but she was frightened and ran home. The well is still active and people fill bottles of the well water to take home. The church is very tight and ornate.

We walked the tight streets with shops and stores, like bazaars and stopped at a synagogue that Jesus probably taught. The Bible says he was not welcomed and had to leave his hometown.

Next stop, the new Church of the Announciation, a large bacillica built over the grotto that Mary lived in and where Gabriel visited her the second time. In Her time, Mary and her neighbors lived in caves on the hillside and we saw some sites that have been escavated showing this.

Finally, off to the city of Cana and the Fransican Wedding Church that celebrates Jesus's first miracle, changing water into wine. It's a small, unassuming church and we all stood at the alter and renewed our wedding vows- of course Deb cried. Manny bought some pretty poor Cana wine that we drank back at the hotel.

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