Discover the friendly atmosphere of Nazareth
The small town of Nazareth is situated in the North District in Israel. If it is part of your tour of Israel, you will have to travel to the Nazareth Mountains where you will find it on the steep slope of a hill. The modern city lies a bit lower down the hillside than the ancient one did but apart from this fact the town has changed little over the centuries.
For most Christians Nazareth is significant as the bible names it as the hometown of Jesus Christ. While quite a few prominent literary works of the time make no mention of the town, archeological evidence points to the fact that the town existed both before and after the Jewish revolt of 70 AD. In addition to this, Jerome, a scholar of the 5th century, mentions it in terms which denote a village of insignificant size and experts have estimated that the population of the time was in the low hundreds. There is also a Hebrew inscription from Caeserea which dates to the 3rd or 4th century and which makes mention of the city. The bible account at John 1:46 further indicate that even in bible times, people though of Nazareth as a somewhat obscure little village from which "nothing good" could come. Whatever the case, the town does exist today and many tours are conducted through it.
Nazareth is a satellite village of Sepphoris which lies a short distance away. It is doubtful that the town would have survived so long where it not for its position on the main road between Egypt and the Asian interior. Today the population of Nazareth numbers roughly 60 000 - quite a step up from its humble beginnings. One of the top attractions in this little town is the Basilica of the Annunciation where Mary was built on the site where Mary was supposedly told she would bear God's son. There are a few other small attractions and some may find it interesting to tour the town and walk the streets before moving on. Nazareth does not stand out in terms of beauty or splendor but for many it is a place well worth seeing at least once.