Greek Orthodox Church also called Church of St. Gabriel or St. Gabriel’s Greek Orthodox Church
The Catholics believe that the Annunciation to Mary was made at the Basilica of Annunciation. However, according to the Greek Orthodox tradition, the Angel Gabriel announced to Virgin Mary she will have a son of God at this place, in center of downtown Nazareth, next Mary’s Well. Indeed the Church is located over the spring that fed Mary’s Well, where she was usually going to take the water for her household. The tradition says the Annunciation was made during fetching water. The original church was likely constructed in the Byzantine era during the rule of Constantine I, at the site of a spring that was the village of Nazareth’s only water supply. Such natural sources of water were a vital part of every village, and the spring in Nazareth served as its local watering hole for approximately three thousand years.
It was later destroyed by the Arab conquest of the 7th C, and rebuilt by the Crusaders in the 12th C. Then it was destroyed again after their defeat in 1263. In 1767 St Gabriel Church was rebuilt on top of the ruins of the Crusader Church. The Crusader’s stones around the spring were left intact. The spring is located in the crypt of the church.
The crypt of the Church of St. Gabriel, the Angel of the Annunciation, maintains a source situated deep behind the railing. The source, the only one of the old city of Nazareth, was in a sacred edifice locked by the Byzantines, and to access it, the Crusaders built a lateral staircase. That is, according to the apocryphal gospels, Archangel met Virgin Mary for the first time and presented his first salvation: “Ave Maria”.
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