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Nazareth’s Old City is most famous for its shuk (outdoor market) which attracts Israelis from across the country looking for traditional Arabic produce. This in itself is an experience, and a great contrast to the air-conditioned malls dotted around the country. For those interested in Christianity, the Old City and surrounds are filled with important Christian sites, including the Church of the Annunciation.

Nazareth’s Old City is home to two off-the-beaten-track cultural sites. The first is The Nazareth Nuns’ Convent, located not far from the Church of Annunciation. It’s a totally unexpected, but very impressive archaeology site. The nuns, who arrived in Nazareth from France in 1855, purchased stores in the market and started establishing the convent, and they uncovered many archeological findings during building process. Included in the findings were a large hall with a big arch above it, catacombs, water cisterns, mosaics, an ancient church’s altar, and a Jewish burial site believed to be from before the Second Temple period. The sisters also have a small museum exhibiting old coins and pottery.

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