Nazareth is the largest city in the north region of Israel and thus its capital. Moreover, it also serves as an Arab capital for Israel's Arab citizens who make up the vast majority of the population there. Nazareth is about 25 km from the Sea of Galilee (17 km as the crow flies) and about 9 km west from Mount Tabor.
The Nazareth metropolis area has a population of approximately 185,000 of which over 145,000 are Arabs, and about 40,000 are Jewish. About a third of the Arabs in Nazareth are Christian and about 2/3 are Muslim.
In the New Testament, Nazareth was described as the home of Joseph and Mary and the site of the Annunciation, when Mary was told by the Angel Gabriel that she would have Jesus as her son. Nazareth is also where Jesus grew up from some point in his childhood after returning to Israel from Egypt until his public ministry began.
In 1962, a Hebrew inscription found in Caesarea, dating to the late 3rd or early 4th century, mentions Nazareth as one of the places in which the priestly family of Hapizzez was residing after Bar Kokhba's revolt (132-135 AD).
In the 6th century, legends about Mary began to spark interest in the site among pilgrims, who founded the Church of the Annunciation at the site of a freshwater spring, today known as Mary's Well.
Here is a listing of some of the sites found in Nazareth:
· The Church of the Annunciation
· The Eastern Orthodox Church constructed St. Gabriel's Church at an alternative site for the Annunciation.
· The Melkite Greek Catholic Church owns the Synagogue Church, which is located at the traditional site of the synagogue where the new testament indicates that Jesus preached
· The Church of St. Joseph's Carpentry occupies the traditional location for the workshop of Saint Joseph
· The Mensa Christi Church, run by the Franciscan religious order, commemorates the traditional location where Jesus dined with the Apostles after his Resurrection
· The Basilica of Jesus the Adolescent, run by the Salesian religious order, occupies a hill overlooking the city.
Nazareth Photo Gallery