Curious facts about the Old City of Nazareth

Posted on Nov 9, 2018

Nov. 6, 2018 – Old City of Nazareth. Within walking distance of the Basilica of the Annunciation, we enter the Arab market and here we find a place rich in cultural heritage, opportunities to learn about the daily life of its inhabitants and so to dive into the history of Christianity.

An example is the “Synagogue-Church”, from the time of Jesus, where according to tradition Jesus pronounced the prophecy from Isaiah which would have been the prefiguration of his public life: “The Spirit of the Lord God is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and freedom to the prisoners”. The sanctuary currently belongs to the Greek-Catholic Church. An ancient Maronite convent is found within 300 metres, where on Sundays the Mass is still celebrated for the local community.

Continuing then we find the main Islamic place of worship in Nazareth, the White Mosque.

A fusion of tradition and history. Amongst the many family who live there we find an Armenian one. Giro Boghossian and his children were born in Israel, but his parents came from Turkey after the Armenian Genocide, between 1915 and 1923. To maintain their roots, the language is transmitted from father to son.

“Generally speaking, children learn how to speak Armenian at home. Here we don’t have an Armenian school, with language teachers. Armenian schools are only found in Jerusalem”.

Walking down the narrow streets we find the Market with products consumed by residents and visitors. Goods of domestic use, fruit, vegetables, clothing, shoes, accessories, cafes, restaurants, art galleries and artisanal shops.
Garments that are typical of Muslim women are found everywhere. Veils of different colours and fabrics are essential items.

The old area of the city is found within the Nazareth of today, that is considered one of the holiest places in the world and of which one-third of inhabitants is Christian. Despised at the time of Jesus, it reminds us about the times of his hidden life. The family who has been owning the religious supply store for forty years states that the Old City of Nazareth should be included in the itineraries.

“It is a very quiet place. Tourists and pilgrims can come to visit the Holy Places. There is no safety issue. There are no issues in visiting the Old City”.