A short account of Nazareth, given by your Israel & Jerusalem private tour guide
Nazareth is the largest Arab city in Israel, with a population numbering 75,000. When the surrounding cities are included, the population of the metropolitan area of Nazareth numbers 150,000. Its attraction for tourism is based on the context of Jesus’ story. This is the reason why there are several churches and religious institutes in the city. We will explore the city, and its most important attractions.
What do we know about Nazareth?
From Jesus time? Only very little. Nazareth doesn’t have any historical or biblical record prior to Jesus. Archaeology, too, shows very little. It was probably a small village of no importance that remained unchanged throughout the Roman period (during the first three centuries CE). Only after Christianity was legalized in the 4th century, did Nazareth begin to develop, as pilgrimages were made into the country and the Galilee. Like most other places in the Galilee, Nazareth’s population was mostly Jewish for a long time.
In the 5th century, Christians managed to overcome the Jewish resistance to the construction of churches in the Galilee, and churches were built in the Jewish towns. The First Annunciation Church was built at that time, followed by the Angel Gabriel Church. Both churches commemorated the biblical story of the angel Gabriel visiting the engaged-to-be-married Mary, and his announcement that the Mary’s son was the son of God.