St. Margaret’s Hospice is a beautiful hotel with a breathtaking view the Old City in Nazareth. It was established in 1874 by a German Templar architect, and was known as ‘The Orphanage’.
Admission: Bookings for rooms available at any time of day or night
Location: Street 901 No.1 – POB. 7, Nazareth 16100
Open Hours: All hours
Tel. Number: 04-6573507/02-6466838 Fax: 04-6567166
Note: admission price by inquiry
‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ – Matthew 11:28
History of St. Margaret’s Hospice
The original site where the building now stands was once used by a Protestant Christian missionary group known as the Society for Promotion of Female Education in the East. The society was at work in Nazareth and Palestine during the Ottoman rule in the middle to late 19th century. St. Margaret’s Hospice was once the orphanage built for the Society. Below it was an English Hospital. The Hospice that stands to this day was once built for the purpose of serving the Greek Orthodox Church, as it did for many years.
During World War I, the hospice turned orphanages had housed more than four-hundred female graduates. In July 1920, as the First World War neared its end, Jerusalem once again became the capital of Israel. It was then that the Mandate civil administration of Britain or the British Mandate of Palestine, became effective. During the Mandate times, the hospice served as an elementary school. Later on it became an institute for mentally handicapped children.
St. Margaret’s Hospice Today
After the Mandate times, it was perhaps purchased by the Anglican Church, which owns it to this day. At present, it is used as a Pilgrim’s’s Inn. The hospice offers a breathtaking view of the Basilica of the Annunciation as well as the old part of the city proper. The whole of the building is enclosed by walls, and a monumental gate serves as the entrance. It used to have a watchtower on each side probably during older times. The gate opens to a tall stairway leading to the main building. Fronting the building is a balcony, which is famous for the panoramic view it offers the pilgrims who visit there. An example of the great view they offer is that of the Salesian Church of Jesus, which is one of the finest examples of modern Gothic architecture.
St. Margaret’s hospice does not boast large buildings or grand accommodations. Rather, the quaint size, the degree of isolation, as well as the fresh air of the hillside offers the kind of rest and relaxation every pilgrim deserves after a long day. It has an old-world charm which distances the visitor from the rush of the city and allows for ample time for reflection. The atmosphere of the hospice is not wholly solemn, for there is much merrymaking to be had in this small but homey place.