Church of the Annunciation - Nazareth
Church of the Annunciation - Nazareth, is the largest Christian church building in the Middle East. In Roman Catholic tradition, it marks the site where the Archangel Gabriel announced the future birth of Jesus to the Virgin Mary (Luke 1:26-31).
Is the largest Christian church building in the Middle East. In Roman Catholic tradition, it marks the site where the Archangel Gabriel announced the future birth of Jesus to the Virgin Mary (Luke 1:26-31). The Greek Orthodox tradition holds that this event occurred while Mary was drawing water from the well in Nazareth, and erected St. Gabriel's Church at that alternate site. The current church is a two-story building, erected over the site of an earlier Byzantine and Crusader church. Inside, the lower level contains the Grotto of the Annunciation, believed by many Christians to be the actual remains of the original childhood home of Mary. The important, archaeological site, which includes the church and surrounding buildings, verifies this is in fact the location of the original village of Nazareth. The Franciscan Museum, within the church, preserves finds from the excavations. The upper church, which serves as the local Roman Catholic parish church, is crowned by the stunning and majestic 170 foot high cupola through which natural light flows to illuminate the entire interior. Magnificent mosaics, works of art and ceramic reliefs (banners) contributed by Roman Catholic communities from around the world adorn the vast interior, while an imposing Italian designed mosaic adorns the altar. Outside, a courtyard connects to the Church of St. Joseph's Carpentry.