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Nazereth - Marys Well

Mary's Well is located in the center of the downtown Nazareth, on the main road. The site is actually a modern water trough, which was built over the ancient trough, which was used by the women and animals as drinking water.
The well gets its water by pipes from a natural spring about 200M north of the well, and was used throughout the ages. According to the tradition, this was the place where Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus, was announced by the angel Gabriel that she will have a son of God.


The well and the nearby natural spring were an important source of running water in the ancient times. The importance of the running water in ancient times was one of the most critical elements for the location of the villages. The location of ancient Nazareth was governed by 3 basic elements: the location of the springs, the topography, and the location of the road that passed through the village.
In late Roman times, and especially in the Crusader period, a series of tunnels were cut into the rock, and the water was distributed to the houses in the vicinity. This water system was in use throughout the ages. In the 19th C the well-house was rebuilt. The structure was demolished and rebuilt in the 1960s.

In 1767 St Gabriel Church was built nearby (150M up the hill) on top of a Crusader Church. In the ground level there is a flow of water that is connected to the well by pipes. The Greek Orthodox believe this is the site of the Annunciation, basing it on earlier texts. Another site, according to Catholic Church, is the Basilica of Annunciation, located at the house of Mary.

Protevangelium of James
Although not recorded in the Bible, the tradition of Mary receiving the Annunciation while fetching water is ancient. It is written down in the 2nd-century Christian text known as the Protevangelium of James (or Proto-Gospel of James), which fills out the biblical story of Mary and the birth of Jesus with more details.
The Protevangelium says that Mary was one of seven unblemished virgins from the line of David chosen to weave a new curtain for the Holy of Holies in the Jerusalem Temple. She was working on this task in her Nazareth home when she went out to fetch some water from the city well.


"She took the jar and went out to fetch water. Then a voice spoke to her: 'Greetings, you who have received grace. The Lord is with you, you blessed among women.' She looked right and left to see where the voice came from and began to tremble. Then she went back into the house, put the jar aside, sat down, took the purple and began to spin. Then an angel stepped before her..."
The biblical account in Luke 1:26-38 only says that "God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth" and that "the angel went to her." It does not record the place of the Annunciation or what Mary was doing at the time.

Even for those who do not accept the tradition of the Annunciation at the well, Mary's Well is significant as the likely spot at which Mary would have fetched water on a regular basis. When Jesus was a boy, she would have brought him along with her.



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