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Nazareth and Galilee 2015

Jesus Christ!! So I took a day trip to the region where the Prophet Yeshua (aka Īsā ibn Maryam) spent most of his life. Visited his home town of Nazareth, and the places where he and his family lived and worked. Then went to view the Sea of Galilee – where I went for a quick paddle in the water. Also visited the River Jordan where he was baptised. Where I saw lots of Egyptian, African and Korean Christians being baptised. This day trip was very, very Christian in it’s educational content…

Tel Aviv
Quick rest stop in the Zionist city of Tel Aviv before we head towards Galilee.
Tel Aviv
Quick rest stop in the Zionist city of Tel Aviv before we head to Galilee.
occupied Galilee
Many of the towns and villages in occupied Galilee have large Muslim populations, so you see Masjid minarets inside them.
Camels of Galilee.
Camels of Galilee.
Camels of Galilee.
Camels of Galilee.

Nazareth

Occupied Nazareth has more Arabs than any other city in “Israel”. It’s 130km away from Jerusalem, was the childhood home of Jesus, and has a large Christian minority but 70% of the population is Muslim nowadays. The group I was travelling with, however, were mainly Christians on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, so we were repeatedly ushered towards the Churches and historical sites related to Mary and Joseph. Which I didn’t mind as that was the reason I came here anyway.

The road to Nazareth
The road to Nazareth. Nowadays it’s a motorway that cuts through a tunnel inside a mountain!
Road to Nazareth.
Road to Nazareth.
Nazareth town centre.
Nazareth town centre. At the time of Jesus it was a tiny village of 30 families. Today more than 70,000 people live here.
Nazareth town centre. Mosque
Nazareth town centre. It is a mainly Muslim town, but constantly receives Christian tourists. So the local mosques, like the one directly in front here, put up verses of the Qur’an all over town that mention Jesus. Above the mosque you can see the main church in town. The Church of Annunciation.

Basilica of the Annunciation

The Basilica of the Annunciation is a Latin Catholic Church that’s built over the site that Catholics believe the Virgin Mary lived and where Jesus was conceived – an event they refer to as the “Annunciation”. It’s therefore one of the holiest places in the world as far as Christians are concerned, so you won’t be surprised to hear it’s also the largest church in the Middle East.

Basilica of the Annunciation
Entrance to the Basilica of the Annunciation – The Largest Church in the Middle East. This multi-level structure is built on top of the original home of Maryam, mother of the Prophet Isa, and it is the place where she received the news from the Angel Gabriel that she was to be mother to the Prophet.
Basilica of the Annunciation
Basilica of the Annunciation
Basilica of the Annunciation.
Inside the Basilica of the Annunciation. Down in the cave-style opening in front of us is the original home of Maryam, the Virgin Mary.
Inside the Basilica of the Annunciation
Inside the Basilica of the Annunciation. This is the lowest level of the church, and is where the Virgin Mary lived, and also where the Archangel came to her with the news.
Basilica of the Annunciation. Byzantine section.
Inside the Basilica of the Annunciation. Byzantine section.
Basilica of the Annunciation. Byzantine section.
Inside the Basilica of the Annunciation. Byzantine section.
Basilica of the Annunciation. Byzantine section.
Inside the Basilica of the Annunciation. Byzantine section.
Basilica of the Annunciation. Crusader section.
Inside the Basilica of the Annunciation. Crusader section.
Basilica of the Annunciation. Modern section
Inside the Basilica of the Annunciation. Modern section, at the upper level.
Basilica of the Annunciation. Modern section
Inside the Basilica of the Annunciation. Modern section, at the upper level.
Basilica of the Annunciation. Modern section
Inside the Basilica of the Annunciation. Modern section, at the upper level.
Courtyard of the Basilica of the Annunciation
Courtyard of the Basilica of the Annunciation, at the upper level.
Exterior of the Basilica of the Annunciation.
Exterior of the Basilica of the Annunciation.
Courtyard of the Basilica of the Annunciation.
Courtyard of the Basilica of the Annunciation.

FYI – the Greek Orthodox Church believes the Annunciation happened at a water well north of the city and have built their own Church of the Annunciation at that location. The staff there most certainly do not welcome tourists!!

Church of St. Joseph

Church of St. Joseph
Church of St. Joseph. Built above the original home of Joseph, husband of the Virgin Mary.
Church of St. Joseph
Church of St. Joseph. Built above the original home of Joseph, husband of the Virgin Mary.
The Church of St. Joseph
The Church of St. Joseph
Under the Church of St. Joseph
Under the Church of St. Joseph is the original home and carpentry workshop of Joseph of Nazareth.
Under the Church of St. Joseph
Under the Church of St. Joseph is the original home and carpentry workshop of Joseph of Nazareth. This is the “mikveh” used by Mary and Joseph.
Under the Church of St. Joseph
Under the Church of St. Joseph is the original home and carpentry workshop of Joseph of Nazareth. This is the “mikveh” used by Mary and Joseph.
Courtyard of the Church of St. Joseph.
Courtyard of the Church of St. Joseph.

Nazareth Village

The original village of Nazareth
The original village of Nazareth, (literally) above which the current town has been built.
The original village of Nazareth,
The original village of Nazareth,
The original village of Nazareth,
The original village of Nazareth, (literally) above which the current town has been built.
Nazareth town.
Nazareth town.
Mount Tabor
Mount Tabor, outside Nazareth, also known as the ” Mount of Transfiguration”.

Galilee

Sea of Galilee
My first view of the Sea of Galilee, as seen from above the town of Tiberias.
Sea of Galilee.
Sea of Galilee.
Magdala
Magdala – the home village of Mary of Magdalene.

Church of Loaves and Fishes

Even if you don’t know the details, you’ll know the story of the loaves and fishes, commonly referred to as “The Feeding of the 5000”. It’s one of the many miracles of Jesus, where he fed a multitude of people with just five loaves of bread and two fish. (The quantities vary depending on which source you heard it from.) This church is built on the location where the miracle is supposed to have occurred.

Church of the Loaves and Fishes, in Tabgha.
Church of the Loaves and Fishes, in Tabgha.
Church of the Loaves and Fishes, in Tabgha.
Church of the Loaves and Fishes, in Tabgha.
Church of the Loaves and Fishes, in Tabgha.
Church of the Loaves and Fishes, in Tabgha.
The fishpond in the courtyard of the Church of Loaves and Fishes.
The fishpond in the courtyard of the Church of Loaves and Fishes.

Capernaum

Capernaum (“Nahum’s village”) was a small fishing village on the shores of the Galilee and is mentioned in all four Gospels in the Christian Bible. While there isn’t certainty that Jesus owned a home here, he certainly did spend time teaching and healing in Capernaum, and it was for a time the centre of his public ministry after he left Nazareth.

Entrance to Capernaum
Entrance to Capernaum, the home town of Saint Peter, and a place where the Jesus stayed, and where he worked to heal the sick and disabled.
Ruins of Capernaum village.
Ruins of Capernaum village.
Ruins of Capernaum village.
Ruins of Capernaum village.
Ruins of Capernaum village.
Ruins of Capernaum village.
Ruins of Capernaum village.
Ruins of Capernaum village.
Ruins of Capernaum Synagogue.
Ruins of Capernaum Synagogue.
Ruins of Capernaum Synagogue.
Ruins of Capernaum Synagogue.
Ruins of Capernaum village.
Ruins of Capernaum village.
Ruins of Saint Peter's house
Ruins of Saint Peter’s house. This is where it is said the Jesus spent time healing the sick and disabled.
Ruins of Saint Peter's house
Ruins of Saint Peter’s house. This is where it is said the Jesus spent time healing the sick and disabled.
Inside the Church of Saint Peter.
Inside the Church of Saint Peter. It’s built above the ruins of his former home.
Church of Saint Peter.
Looking down into the former home of Saint Peter, from above from inside the modern Church of Saint Peter.

Sea of Galilee

Sea of Galilee
People swimming in the Sea of Galilee. The best I could manage was to wade into it knee deep.
Sea of Galilee
People swimming in the Sea of Galilee. The best I could manage was to wade into it knee deep.
Sea of Galilee.
People swimming in the Sea of Galilee.

River Jordan

River Jordan, flowing into the Sea of Galilee.
My first view of the River Jordan, flowing into the Sea of Galilee.
Entrance to the Yardenit Baptismal Site.
Entrance to the Yardenit Baptismal Site.

We went to visit the Yardenit Baptismal Site. Millions of Christians have come here to be baptised, just like Jesus was. What most of them don’t realise is that this is NOT the place where Jesus was actually baptised. This is a tourist attraction created to cash in on the faithful pilgrims.

At the Jordan River
At the Jordan River. Egyptian Christians getting ready to be baptised. They wear a traditional white outfit, with at least one large cross on it. Sometimes they have more elaborate decorations, including depictions of Jesus from famous artworks.
River Jordan
At the River Jordan. Egyptian Christians getting ready to be baptised. They wear a traditional white outfit, with at least one large cross on it. Sometimes they have more elaborate decorations, including depictions of Jesus from famous artworks.
At the River Jordan.
At the River Jordan.
At the River Jordan.
At the River Jordan.
At the River Jordan.
At the River Jordan.
At the River Jordan.
Korean Christians getting ready to be baptised at the River Jordan.
At the River Jordan.
Korean Christians getting ready to be baptised at the River Jordan.
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