Today was the designated Day of Church Visits. On our way to the Greek Catholic Church (built over the 1st-century synagogue), we had the opportunity to buy a rug featuring Batman or, alternatively, Snow White. Although it was tempting, we declined...for now.
The Church of St. Joseph is built on the traditional site of Joseph's carpentry shop. As with most of the commemorative churches in Nazareth, the grounds were beautiful.
A beautiful sculpture of the holy family at St. Joseph's Church.
Stained-glass windows inside St. Joseph's Church.
Beneath the modern church (as with everything in this city), there was an interesting sight - an ancient immersion baptismal font. How did this practice get lost over the years? Check out the mosaic floor.
Next to the church, there were more 1st-century ruins. Something you have to understand if you're looking at ruins such as these is that in the past, everything has been built on top of the previous city. When buildings fell down or wars or destruction happened, they didn't sweep everything away and start anew. Rather, they just built the new stuff on top of the old. So over time, the street level has risen. That's why all of these 1st-century ruins are beneath the modern buildings.
This particular dwelling illustrates an interesting practice of homes of that day. The animals would sleep in the inner chamber while the family would sleep in the outer room. That way, any thief wanting to steal the animals would have a hard time getting into the house without waking the family up. I guess that shows how important the livestock were to the family's livelihood at that time.