“Following in the footsteps of Jesus” is an expression commonly used to describe adhering to Jesus’s teachings. But what if it weren’t merely a figure of speech? What would it be like to deepen your connection with Jesus by walking where He walked and experiencing life as He did?
That’s exactly what visitors to Nazareth Village are able to do. For the last twenty years, Nazareth Village has offered people of all faiths and backgrounds a unique chance to experience life in first-century Nazareth—exactly as it would have been when Jesus lived there.
Archaeological evidence has placed the origins of Nazareth at least as far back as the Stone Age, when the nearby Kfar HaHoresh was used as a funerary and potential cult center. Widely believed by historians and Christians to have been an obscure and unremarkable town, Nazareth would later be catapulted to fame and historical significance as the hometown of Jesus, according to the Bible.
Today, Nazareth is the capital of Israel’s North District and the largest Arab city in Israel, with a population of close to 80,000. The city has become a major tourist attraction and pilgrimage destination. Places of note include the Basilica of the Annunciation, said to mark the site where Mary was told by the Archangel Gabriel that she would bear God’s son, and St. Joseph’s Church, which stands on the purported spot of Joseph’s carpentry workshop. It’s also the home to several significant sites for Muslims, including the White Mosque and the Shrine of Shihab ad-Din.
Set amidst the bustle of the city, the 6-hectares of historic land on which Nazareth Village sits offers visitors an oasis of reprieve from modern life, an opportunity to step back in time to a simpler world. The Village features an authentic first-century farm and an archaeologically accurate recreation of the town as would have appeared when Jesus lived there.
Whether their interests are religious, archaeological, or cultural, guests to Nazareth Village are able to connect to history through a one-of-a-kind immersive experience. Knowledgeable, engaging guides lead visitors on a tour that offers a living representation of the life and teachings of Jesus in their original context, including:
Nazareth Village celebrated its 20th anniversary in the midst of a near two-year closure as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In spite of the difficulties and uncertainty of the past several years, however, Nazareth Village is proud to once again be welcoming guests.
In the last two decades, visitorship has swelled to around 90,000 people from over 100 different countries each year. In order to be able to continue accommodating such a high volume of visitors, Nazareth Village has embarked on one of its most ambitious projects yet: the construction of a new Discovery Center. The Center is projected to cost around $10 million and will serve as an expanded visitors’ center, including supporting current operations, improving visitor experience, and facilitating new initiatives.
To accomplish this ambitious project, we need your help! As a not-for-profit organization, we are heavily reliant on generous donations from the public to continue doing our important work. If you are able, consider to support the exciting new ventures happening at Nazareth Village and cement your legacy in helping to preserve Jesus’s hometown.
The Nazareth Project is the primary US partner of the Nazareth Trust, an organization dedicated to serving the population of the Middle East and the wider world through healthcare, education, proclamation, and service. Our work and mission are rooted in the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, though we are committed to serving all peoples, regardless of faith, political affiliation, or tradition. Offerings of the Trust include the Nazareth Hospital and the Nazareth Academic School of Nursing, as well as Nazareth Village and SERVE Nazareth, both of which allow patients, students, volunteers, pilgrims, and tourists to deepen their relationship with God and one another. Contact us today for more information on our programs, or consider donating to support our work!