Trip Start Nov 10, 2011
Trip End Dec 03, 2011

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Flag of Israel  , Galilee,
Saturday, November 19, 2011

Although I began blogging about Nazareth while we were staying at the Kibbutz in the Golan Heights, I was not able to write more than a paragraph, thanks to a very slow internet and a 24-hour bug. Today we have had a busy day of visiting the Holocaust Museum and the open-air market where the locals do much of their shopping. As I write this, we are getting live updates on the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Oh, the wonders of the modern world. Ten of us are going to a restaurant in the German colony for Thanksgiving dinner this evening.

So, on to Nazareth. We arrived last Friday afternoon -- almost a week ago -- so I hope I can remember the details. Two thousand years ago, Nazareth was a sleepy little burg of about 100 families. Today it is a bustling city with constant traffic jams on streets that were not meant for anything faster than a mule. The old town of Nazareth is inhabited by Christian and Muslim Paletinians, and contains all of the major tourist sites. The Jewish section is north of the city and was founded in 1957.

Famous as the site of the Annunciation and the childhood of Jesus, there is more to the history of Nazareth. The village suffered at the hands of the Romans during the Jewish Revolt of 66 CE, then flourished under the Byzantines, and later became an important Christian site with the Crusader conquest of the Holy Land in 1099. After the resurgence of Muslim power in the 12th and 15th centuries, Christians found it dangerous to visit. Improving relations by the 18th century allowed the Franciscans to acquire the Basilica of the Annunciation, and they have maintained a Christian presence ever since.
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