A short distance from the church of the Annunciation in Nazareth is the church of the Nutrition. It was given this name as its original Late Antique church was constructed over the home and workshop of Joseph and was the place where Christ spent much of his childhood. This church incorporated grottos, cisterns and a ritual bath or baptismal font. It was used in the Crusader period, prior to its destruction by fire in the thirteenth century. The Franciscans rebuilt the current church in the twentieth century.
In the mid-fourth century, a church was constructed around a grotto in the town of Nazareth that was said to be the Virgin Mary’s house and the place where the archangel Gabriel appeared to her during the Annunciation. This holy site was clearly well established as a place of worship towards the end of the fourth century as the pilgrim Egeria describes an altar within a grand and splendid grotto. The Piacenza pilgrim who journeyed to Nazareth in the late sixth century states that there is a basilica at the House of Mary that contains many garments that once belonged to the Virgin. Today, remnants of wall paintings, mosaics, and the architecture from this early church building are visible.
Tags: Annunciation, Architecture, C20th, C4th, C5th-C6th, Cave, Christ, Christian, Cross, Foliage, Fresco, Geometric Motif, Greek Inscription, Holy Site, Inscription, Israel, Mosaic, Nazareth, Pilgrimage, St. Gabriel, Staurogram, Virgin Mary