The Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth rises to a height of 54 meters and is lit on both floors through the dome. Its upper reinforcement pillars are cast in the form of the letter M according to the belief that the church is built where Mary lived when the angel appeared to her and preached to her that she would give birth to Jesus. Hence the name "the Church of the gospel"
And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her and said, “Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women.”And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying and cast about in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, “Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found favor with God. And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb and bring forth a Son, and shalt call His name Jesus.
He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Highest, and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David, and He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of His Kingdom, there shall be no end.”Then said Mary unto the angel, “How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?”And the angel answered and said unto her, “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee. Therefore also that Holy Being who shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
According to the first existing explanation, the establishment of the Church of the Annunciation was in by Joseph from Tiberias in the fourth century. The remains left in place are of a Byzantine church that existed here as early as the fifth century AD. Between the remains is a mosaic floor with an inscription in Greek as well as fragments of stones. The church was destroyed during Arab rule and only in the 12th century when the Crusaders arrived in Eretz Israel they built a magnificent church destroyed by Muslims in 1263 and scanty remains of it remained until our days.
According to an ancient Legend, when Muslims approached the Church of the Annunciation, angels appeared from above and took the church on their wings and brought her to Italy to the village of Lorato known as Nazareth of Italy. In 1620, Franciscan monks with great effort acquired the ruin they lived in extremely harsh conditions, and only after a century began to build instead of a modest new church that over the years was expanded. It existed until 1955 until it was destroyed by the monks for the establishment of the Great Church of our time.
CHURCH OF THE ANNUNCIATION - SOUTHERN FACADE
The southern facade in the Church of the Annunciation is dedicated to Mary -the door is decorated with stories from the life of Mary. Including the birth of Mary not mentioned in the Evangelions but the proto-Evangelion of James. On the southern front above the entrance opening, the statue of the girl Mary is made of bronze, standing on the wall engraved with words of the prayer in Latin:
"Great peace, Holy Queen, if Grace if our lives, our darling and our hopes. We call upon you and send our sighs, grieving and crying in this valley of tears. Oh, the most generous recommendation of honesty, look in the eyes of compassion for us and our place of Exile, show us the fruit of your stomach, blessed Jesus. Humbled, or beloved, Oh sweet Virgin Mary!"
A statue at the eastern end depicts the meeting between John Paul the 6th with the patriarch of Constantinople who met at the Mount of Olives and bridged a split between Catholics and orthodox that had been since 1054.
The paintings in the courtyard were sent as a donation from different countries – note that Mary is depicted in each country as similar to the people of the same country.
When analyzing theological drawing, an inventory of the stories in the drawing must first be performed.
The Polish painting-1942-1947 following Nazi control, a Polish army was established aimed at reaching the Italian front and was called the Anders Army. This army departs from Russia and passes through China India Persia and Israel. In the painting - under the cloak, soldiers and refugees are seen in the Madonna. With the Anders Army, orphans come to the Church of Jesus the boy (Salesian) located at the top of the hill. In 1902 an orphanage was erected there and in 1906 from donations from France and Belgium, the construction of a church designed by French architect Lucia Gautia in the Gothic Revival style only because the 1st World War has begun in 1920. In the courtyard of the church, there is a small building and on the second floor, there is a statue of Jesus the boy.
CHURCH OF THE ANNUNCIATION - THE FRONT
At the top of the gable is a statue of Jesus blessing and welcomes the visitors of the Church of the Annunciation, in front of the church facing west inscribed in the upper part the image of Mary – on the right, which on the one hand looks young but with an adult hairstyle and the image of the Archangel Gabriel – on the left.
The angel holds a white lily which is the lily flower that symbolizes virginity. below is written in Latin: 'the angel of God preached to Mary.' Below are more engraved figures of the four authors of the Basic Books of the New Testament: Mathieu, Mark, Luke, and John. Each of the four evangelists has an attribute: Mattiu – a human face, Marcus - lion, Lucas - Bull and John Eagle (in the book Yezekiel narrates about the chariot of God who rolled with these 4 Figures.
The words of the New Testament are written below them, in the doorframe and on its sides: and this was flesh and dwelt within us.' On the left are inscribed in the front of the words of the Torah: 'And God said to the serpent, he will pour out ahead and you will pour out because of'.
On the right are the words of the prophet Isaiah: 'behold, the lady is pregnant and gives birth to a son and you have called his name Emmanuel.')
This is the VERBUM CARO ( thing, meat = the thing that became meat = incarnation)
At the ends, we see painted the 4 elements to which the pagan world worshiped: water, air, fire, and earth that are now all embodied in Jesus.
The doors of the main opening of the Church of the Annunciation are large and heavily made of copper, on the doors are hammered images from events in the history of the life of Christ. His birth, his escape with his parents on a donkey to Egypt. Jesus the boy works with Joseph the carpenter. John baptizes Jesus in Jordan, Jesus preaches to his followers who sit before him, his crucifixion and resurrection in Jerusalem.
CHURCH OF THE ANNUNCIATION - THE CONSTRUCTION
Antonio Berllucci designed the church of the Annunciation that would be similar to Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, but its planning was not accepted (went into deep depression) and its shades were designed in Brutalism style – bare concrete that was acceptable in the 60s.
The entrance crossbar on the left are figures from the Bible, among them John the Baptist who is supposedly the revelation of Elijah the prophet and the punishment of the original sin Noah's Ark and The Binding of Isaac, and on the right are the 12 Apostles.
The right door takes us to the crypt (lower level)above us King David, note the floors that make an illusion of descending the stairs towards the ancient cave. The lighted arch is Byzantine that may have been a baptismal basin for pro-Byzantine Jews that has become a Christian baptismal Basin.
The plinth rounding and showing language was the apse of the Byzantine church. The pillars also belong to the Byzantine church.
The earliest part is the cave associated with Nazareth in the days of the Second Temple. In the cave there is an altar inscribed in it "and here (HICI) it becomes a flesh" which excites every Christian believer.
Among the finds revealed in the avalanche in this place-a stone engraved with two Greek words XE MARIA, this is the Greek version of Latin AVA MARIA Hello Miriam! From the words of the angel who appeared before Mary.
The opening to the second floor (the eye) is octagonal (8 ribs) with the number 8 symbolizing Infinity.
The eastern wall in the Church commemorates the stages of the construction of the church. The big stones are from the Byzantine period and the chiseled stones from the Crusader period. The new church is wide from the ancient relics by five meters in each direction.
On the top floor of Church of the Annunciation: built in the 20th century in the eastern wall set with a large mosaic and a multi-colored contribution of Italy in which the image of Christ spreads his hands to the sides stands out. The triangle with the eye and the Dove, The Queen Of Heaven Mary, around all types of people carry their eyes to Jesus. On the right – Peter fills-his place.
The beautiful vitrage in the church of the annunciation under the dome reminiscent of a Lilly flower whose petals turn upside down (inside) the couple framed in the glass are anna and Joachim, mary's parents. And to the right, Anna serves a Torah scroll to Mary.
The confession cells indicate that this is a Catholic Church. Above the confession cell, there are scenes of repentance. Mary Magdalene represents all sinful women.
CHURCH OF THE ANNUNCIATION IN NAZARETH - THE ART
There are 14 ceramic works – the Stations of the Via Dolorosa are written in Arabic-a tribute to the local community.
The mass is held in Arabic and not in Latin or English,
To the right of the mosaic is a cell – a donation of Spain, entirely decorated with various symbols, combined between them: the war of good and evil, war and peace, Jerusalem of Heaven, the meeting of Pope Paul VI the head of the Catholic Church with Patriarch Athenagoras the head of the Orthodox Church. Water-drinking gazelles symbolize the poet's words 'as a Ram will feed upon water channels yes my soul will feed upon you God' Psalms 2,2. To the left of the mosaic is a cell dedicated to the Franciscan monks who were killed while performing their duties in different countries. In it is inlaid with a large cross and in each corner a small cross, and they symbolize the Four Winds Of Heaven in which Christianity spread. Mosaics of Miriam on the walls of the hall are fixed large mosaics donations of Catholic communities in the different countries: an impressive mosaic shows Mary and her son in Japanese style inlaid with pearls. And in the styles of different countries. The Western Wall of the hall is entirely inlaid with diverse glass and the gift of France. When you come out of the north, you see the continuation of the excavations of the houses from the second temple.
VISITING THE CHURCH OF THE ANNUNCIATION
the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth is open every day 08:00-17:00, with no entry fees. the best way to visit this amazing church is on a private tour to Nazareth and Galilee from Tel Aviv or Jerusalem with a tour guide.