Nazareth Village: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. (Luke 4:18)
Hours: 9am to 5pm, Monday – Saturday (Last guided tour starts at 3pm)
Entrance: Individuals are 50 NIS (about $12.50 USD).
Children under 7 are free.
Nazareth Village is located on a large piece of serene farm land in the new city of Nazareth. This is a reconstruction of a Galilean village around the time Jesus Christ lived on the earth. There is a wheat mill to show visitors how grain was threshed. Women are spinning, making bread from scratch and fetching water. The men of the village are working the land or herding goats and sheep. There is an oil press fashioned in the style of over two thousand years ago.
The staff members are all native Nazareth citizens in authentic ancient Israeli garb. The visitors can walk the “Parable Walk” to learn in a greater depth the teachings within the parabolic teachings of Jesus Christ. Along the way, the astute listener will learn that Nazareth is the Hebrew word for a new shoot of an Olive tree. Thus making Nazareth the branch mentioned in Isaiah 11:1. Christian tourists will be delighted to visit a synagogue arrayed much as it would have been when Jesus Christ attended temple on Sabbath. There is even a house to show what kind of dwelling Jesus Christ would have come
Beginning in 1997, Archeologists from the University of the Holy Land, lead by Stephen Pfann began excavating the land where Nazareth Village now sits. Early in the excavation, it was discovered that the land in Nazareth Village was farmed and quarried around the Hellenistic period (second to first century BC). Nazareth Village now houses fortified objects and places discovered, such as: a wine press, three watchtowers, farm terraces and even an irrigation system carved in the bedrock!
The south side historically would have provided plenty of sun, and the soil is calcium rich. These conditions would have been perfect for growing grapes and pressing wine, which was one of the main industries in Biblical Galilee. Because the land is one of the last surviving first century farmlands, Nazareth Village is dedicated to preserving, studying and honoring the memory of ancient Nazareth.
Archeologists set about uncovering then rebuilding the farming terraces in Nazareth Village. They studied thousands of documents to authentically recreate the terrace farming which became main stream in the Middle East as early as the Iron Age.
Nazareth Village History
Historians studied both the Bible and extra-Biblical documents to recreate the synagogue in Nazareth Village. The outside walls were built from excavated quarry stones, using the original “stone-on-stone” method of building prevalent in Biblical Israel. Large stones are broken into pieces and held together with a mortar of straw, lime and clay. This synagogue looks much like the one Jesus Christ would have attended.
Archaeological excavations of first century settlements found that people lived in small rooms built around a central courtyard. It was furnished with a water cistern and an oven. Since limestone is prevalent in Nazareth, the houses would be cave-like and have underground storage areas. In this way, visitors can get an authentic idea of how Jesus Christ lived his daily life while in Nazareth. In this way, there is a reconstruction of Jesus Christ’s home and Joseph’s workshop to help the Bible come alive to the visitors of Nazareth Village.