Nazareth – 9. More old city streets and market


Heading back on the main road to Nazareth’s main city centre as it was very hot today and need to get another bottle of water.

This alleyway near one of the youth hostels I was staying has a drain at street level, this sounds primitive but this path is very old as its intended so donkeys can relieve themselves and can be flushed away into the drains.

On one of the city tours I was on, our guide told us that these diagonal sections on corners of streets are there so men cannot use the corner as a toilet, a design feature since the bible times!

In the week I was there between the Jewish holiday of Pesach (Passover) and Easter, there were quite a few visitors to Nazareth but it wasn’t that busy, being the wrong side of the country (ie: people are in Jerusalem)

On the left as well as more fruit and vegetables and familiar western food products, there is someone with 2 litre coca cola bottles with a different coloured liquid in them for sale, locally made olive oil.  One the right Nazareth’s famous White Mosque has some of it side entrances leading onto the market, I don’t now much about the typical building layouts of Islamic holy places, so this entrance for funerals was quite surprising!

This gent is the Imam of the mosque seems friendly and also runs a shop next door  to the White mosque.

A lot of butchers have a specially refridgerated van for transporting meat, here this Nazarene market trader brings in meat on the back seat of a beat up Renault 5.

Fluffy yellow chicks in a box!  can you tell its Easter?

Pork for sale? In Israel?   You can tell there are a lot of Christian Arabs and secular Muslims who visit this butchers shop!
Next the Spice shop, and the various types of churches around Nazareth…

1. Arrival at the city2. Staying in the old city3. The modern day Nazarene carpenter4. Where Jesus first preached5. Religious vehicles in Nazareth6. Mary’s Well and the Bath house7. The precipice8. On top of the Precipice hill9. More old city streets and market10. The spice shop11. Churches from A to Z or Alpha to Omega12. The Basilica church13. Easter service at the Basilica


Nazareth – 8. Ontop of the Precipice hill

After spending a while getting some pictures and pondering what it was like with Jesus had upset some people in the synagogue thinking he had said blasphemy, I thought I would climb up the side of the hill.

I always think of Jesus as being a strong and assertive young man, it didn’t occur to me before the crucifixion that he could get easily lynched and taken up to this hill by a mob.  I wonder if they were having a heated debate on theology whilst walking from the temple, and some of the folk got nasty.

At the foot of the hill there is a zigzag road which has been blocked off to stop people driving up there, on the other side is a road for coaches to take tourists up here.

The mast you can see in the distance is part of a peace monument.

I will mention this peace monument another time, as it has some similarities to the ones I have seen in Jerusalem and Sderot.

Up the top is a simple path that encircles to the top of the hill with plenty of trees and wild flowers here, there is a toilet block which was shut (oh well plenty of bushes!)  and a small kiosk that looks out to the view point that heads south.

This was definitely worth the long walk – the grey ‘field’ thing is actually a large water reservoir, there is another 3 small ones in view.   In the distance is mount Tabor, this hill is mentioned a few times in the scriptures and also is considered one of several locations of Jesus’s transfiguration.  To the right in the distance is Megiddo (Armageddon)   Wonder if this is a safe place to watch the final battle of the end of the world? 🙂

With this view it was nice to just stay up for an hour, I would of stayed longer but I only brought a small bottle of water and it was a hot day, the nearest petrol station is back in town about 3 or 4 kilometers away.

Looking eastwards.  I got chatting to some American Christians here, its easily to getting chatting with other Christians about the bible and Jesus’s escape from people who tried to throw him off the hill.

Down here is the building site next a large hotel and conference centre where I took pictures from the previous story.

More antics around Nazareth coming soon! Also Jesus’s first miracle in Cana, and Armegeddon the battle ground of the past and stage for the end of the world!

1. Arrival at the city2. Staying in the old city3. The modern day Nazarene carpenter4. Where Jesus first preached5. Religious vehicles in Nazareth6. Mary’s Well and the Bath house7. The precipice8. On top of the Precipice hill9. More old city streets and market10. The spice shop11. Churches from A to Z or Alpha to Omega12. The Basilica church13. Easter service at the Basilica


Nazareth – 6. Mary’s Well and the Bath house

The well sits right next to a busy junction and is close to the Greek church of annunciation.

Its meant to be the place that Mary was drawing water when the angel told her she was to be with child.   There isn’t anything in the scriptures that mentions this arch specifically though.

In fact Mary’s well is an iconic part of Nazareth as it appears on official government letterheads and logos, including this man hole cover 🙂

The back of the monument.

Imagine if you owned a small shop and you did some maintenance on the building to find an ancient bath house was underneath that may date from the time of Jesus?   Thats what happened the owners of this building!   I didn’t visit this place as its only by tour, so I would have to wait and find some other people to share the NIS120 fee to visit.   Looks interesting though!!  http://www.nazarethbathhouse.org/en/

1. Arrival at the city2. Staying in the old city3. The modern day Nazarene carpenter4. Where Jesus first preached5. Religious vehicles in Nazareth6. Mary’s Well and the Bath house7. The precipice8. On top of the Precipice hill9. More old city streets and market10. The spice shop11. Churches from A to Z or Alpha to Omega12. The Basilica church13. Easter service at the Basilica


Nazareth – 1. Arrival at the city

I have always hoped Michael Palin could do journals around the holy land one day, until this happens I try and blog on the places of the life of Jesus myself.  I am tired by the attitudes of the media and fellow Brits who try to slander Israel and accuse it of being a ‘Apartheid’ state amongst other things.  I set out to the central Galilee city of Nazareth, to see what it was like for Jesus to have grown up there, glimpses of places from the bible, how the Arab people there live in the centre of the Galilee and how different it is from Jerusalem.

Just before getting off the bus which took me from Jerusalem, I asked some people next to me if this was the right place to get off, and there didn’t seem to be a proper bus station, just a stop by the main road.   This Arab couple were really friendly and were happy oblige to walk with me from the street through some narrow streets uphill through the old city towards my hostel.

Jesus frequently went to and fro from here or the greater part of Galilee to Jerusalem and Bethlehem.  When you live some distance from your family this must be a lot of effort to travel often.

This provocative message to Christians stands out a junction heading north towards the Synagogue where Jesus first preached.  Behind is the tall turret of the famous huge and grand looking Bisilica Church.   It says “and whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the hereafter he will be one of the losers. – Holy Quran”

I have a better message though: Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14 : 6

I have seen this on some guides before, and all the research I did suggested Nazareth is a safe city to visit, and it is too.  I had a number of worries though to do with the busy time of year.  I booked this trip at rather the last minute as its in between Pesach and Easter, and with two different holidays, the buses are not running for some of those days, Easter making it more busy for Christian visitors, and I had hoped to visit Tiberias but both youth hostels were fully booked, so was one of the main hostels in Nazareth, and I got myself one night booked but not for the other days, this needed a lot of prayer of exactly how to figure out where to stay….

Soon!  Different Youth Hostels, the Spice Mill, Thousands of Arab Israelis Christians in the streets at Easter, the church at Cana for weddings, today’s modern Nazarene carpenters and residents finding hidden wells in the back yards by accident!

1. Arrival at the city2. Staying in the old city3. The modern day Nazarene carpenter4. Where Jesus first preached5. Religious vehicles in Nazareth6. Mary’s Well and the Bath house7. The precipice8. On top of the Precipice hill9. More old city streets and market10. The spice shop11. Churches from A to Z or Alpha to Omega12. The Basilica church13. Easter service at the Basilica