Churches of IsraelNazareth

Greek Orthodox Annunciation Church

Greek Orthodox Annunciation Church: The angel answered, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. (Luke 1:19)


Monday – Saturday 7AM to 10AM, Noon to 6PM
Free Entrance

Greek Orthodox Church


The Greek Orthodox Annunciation Church is also known as Mary’s Well Church and St. Gabriel Church. It is located down the main road in the center of Nazareth, simply on the side of the road. Though it is small, it is among the loveliest of Israel’s churches. Beautiful wall paintings and elegant statues set it apart from other sites. The soothing sound of water also gives it a peaceful edge on surrounding churches.

According to tradition, Greek Orthodox Annunciation Church is built on the spot where Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, was told by Gabriel of her miraculous pregnancy while drawing water from a spring. The church is divided into two sections. The first part is a newer prayer structure. The second portion is left over from the 12th century. This lower, older part has a podium and a fountain that pulls water from the spring above known as “Mary’s Well.”

Structurally, the Greek Orthodox Annunciation Church looks like most Greek Orthodox churches in this area. The outside looks very much like a fortress. There are two wings and a hall. There is a square bell tower at the top. In 1767, a Greek benefactor gave the church an iconostasis, a wooden podium decorated in Greek iconography of Jesus Christ and his mother. It is used to discretely “hide” the podium/alter. This church, like many local churches, includes an area to be used by the Orthodox public for consoling those mourning a loss of a loved one.

Greek Orthodox Church


Like so many churches in Nazareth, the Greek Orthodox Annunciation Church traces its roots back to the crusades in the 12th century. Unfortunately, it was destroyed by the Mamluk Sultan Baibers during the Arabic occupation during the 13th century. It was then rebuilt in the 1750s during the Ottoman Era.

The Greek Orthodox Annunciation Church is steeped in more mystique than many other churches. According to legend, this church is built on the spot where Gabriel told Mary she would become pregnant with Jesus Christ. Supposedly, this all happened as Mary went to draw water from a nearby spring. The source of this information is document allegedly written by Saint James. This document also includes information about Jesus Christ, as a child, following his mom to the spring to draw water.

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Around the cave inside the church, there are still remains of the original crusaders responsible for building this lovely piece of architecture. During the Mamluk occupation Greek Orthodox Annunciation Church was destroyed, along with all the other Christian churches in Nazareth. In the 1600s, Franciscans gained possession of the spring and built a small room above it. A little over one hundred years later, the Greek Orthodox society was granted possession by Daher El-Omar. By 1750 the church you see today was erected and celebrated the “birth announcement” of Jesus Christ. It is no wonder it is among the most sacred of Orthodox churches for its history and authenticity.

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