Saturday, July 17, 2010

Caesarea and Nazareth

One thing I have come to learn in my time at the Jerusalem Center
is that the 'travel days' marked on our schedules our never just travel days.
Nope, they are field trip days, with just a little extra time on the bus in between stops!
So, in true JC fashion, we made some awesome stops on our way to Galilee.

Our first stop was Caesarea Maritima, which was great!
Caesarea was built by Herod the Great and after his death became the Roman capital of Judea.
It is a beautiful city, with some awesome ruins, built right on the shores of the Mediterranean.
On a biblical note, Caesarea was also where Peter and Phillip preached
and where Paul gave his defense to Agrippa.
Pretty cool!

Pagan rituals used to occur in this niche-they used to sacrifice a bull on the roof outside and then stand underneath to soak themselves in the blood that came out of the hole in the ceiling I am pointing to. They apparently did this to obtain the bull's matter what the reason was though I find it highly disturbing and gross.

After Caesarea we went to Nazareth.
I was so excited to visit there and see the place where Christ grew up,
and I absolutely loved the short time we had there.
Nazareth is still a living, modern city but they still have some amazing churches to visit, commemorating the significant events that occurred there.
My favorite one was the Church of the Annunciation.
The whole church, both inside and out, is covered with different paintings of Mary and Jesus from almost every country in the world.

looking at all the different paintings

The grotto where the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary. Nazareth is a small enough town, and the tradition has been around long enough, that this very well could have actually been where Mary lived.

This picture does not give justice to how beautiful the interior of this church is. Brother Brown told us that when he brought President and Sister Hinckley here (I told you he is legit), President Hinckley walked in and said
"Well the Catholics sure do know how to build a church!"

We finally arrived to the kibbutz in Galilee where we would be staying to this.....

Not too bad of a welcome if you ask me.

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