Church of Annunciation - Nazareth, Israel

The Church of the Annunciation (or Basilica of the Annunciation) as it’s sometimes known), is located in Nazareth, Israel.

It was my favourite church, a strikingly modern architectural style. Rather than stained glass windows, the walls were adorned with beautiful mosaics created by a variety of artists from around the world, to represent their country in honouring the Virgin Mary - giving a positive feel of international involvement and cooperation.

All the churches in Israel have been built and rebuilt over the centuries. Four earlier churches were built here, to mark the annunciation - the earliest being a 4th century Byzantine church followed by a Crusader church; then a 14th century Franciscan church.

The present church was completed in 1969 and is the largest Christian church in the Middle East.

Actually it's two churches in one – the current, modern structure seen above ground was built atop earlier shrines and conceived by the Italian architect Giovanni Muzio.1

Main Chapel with another beautiful mosaic behind the altar (my own photo)

In the centre of the lower floor, a sunken grotto contains a traditional cave - home of the Virgin Mary - the stone wall and staircase at the back has remained from the Crusader-era church dating back to the 12th century.1

Looking up is a marvellous lily dome as you can see below - a symbol to Virgin Mary’s purity.

Credit (

Excavations have revealed some Crusader-era artefacts , which are presented in the museum located under the plaza outside of the higher level (as shown in the video).1

The following 8 min video takes you on a tour of this fascinating church. At around the 6 min mark, the guide moves to the Church of St Joseph next door, said to be located over Joseph's workshop. Towards the end the outdoor covered walkway and the many mosaic panels.

There were some stained glass windows as some shown below:

  • at the back of the church
  • I loved the coloured reflections of the floor as we made our way to another level.