A tour of Nazareth is like reliving its various periods. Every era left behind it a powerful symbol that became a delightful and popular tourism site in the modern era. Most of the sites are concentrated in the Old City, built in the mid-19th century in a charming Middle Eastern architectural style. A walk through the narrow streets, between the picturesque houses, is an amazing experience and it is worth walking slowly to enjoy their beauty.
There are many ancient churches in the Old City, with the Church of the Annunciation heading the list. The rebuilt church retained parts of the previous churches, from the Crusader and Byzantine periods. The church also houses an impressive collection of paintings.
Right next to this church is the Church of Saint Joseph, built on the ruins of agricultural buildings where, according to tradition, Joseph, Mary’s husband, had his carpentry shop. While the Church of the Annunciation was built on the site of Mary’s home, the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation is built over Mary’s Well, from which Jesus mother is said to have drank. This is a structure from the Crusader period and has some interesting frescoes.
Next to Mary’s Well is the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation, inside a Crusader hall. According to tradition this is the location of the synagogue in which Jesus prayed.
Among the many other churches in Nazareth are the Mensa Christi Church, the Maronite Church, St. Gabriel’s Church and the Silesian Church. The Old City also has important buildings from the Ottoman period, including the Saraya, or Government House, built by Daher el Omar, the governor of the Galilee in the 18th century, and the White Mosque, which is used today as a house of prayer and an education and culture centre. The White Mosque also houses a museum with exhibits that document Nazareth’s history.