19 Feb 2016 255 views
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photoblog image RC Basilica of the Annunciation
RC Basilica of the Annunciation|

RC Basilica of the Annunciation


We have arrived! The other claimants of where the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary. The Basilica is built over the building that is claimed to be the house where Mary lived. According to this denomination the angel appeared to her in the house. The other lot, Greek Orthodox claims that the angel appeared to her at a well - now known as Mary's well. Their church is built over that well. The Coptic Orthodox Church of the Annunciation can also be found in Nazareth. They only built in the 1950's on an available premise, not claiming it to be THE SPOT.


What is claimed to be Mary's house, can be seen at the back behind the trellises.


Funny thing is that when you enter the Basilica, your knees must be covered. This guy borrowed a scarf from one of the women travelling with us. He is inside, so the solution was accepted.



The plaque in front of the Basilica, stating their claim. 



One glaring issue that pops up, is that the early Christians in the first two centuries, would not think of praying to Mary or in any other way be devoted to her. The Apostolic Creed of Faith dates from the early 2nd century and requires no devotion to Mary. The practice of devotion to Mary comes later during Byzantine times, when the RC church started to organise itself. The first church on this site resulted from Emperor Constantine ordering his mother Helena to build churches at places with religious significance. Yes, there were four earlier churches, each one of them razed during various Muslim conquests. The Franciscan order are the wards of this site and their priests paid the price with every conquest.


comments (15)

I really love how they've built around Mary's house...
I wonder why your knees have to be covered?
Louis: About the covering of the knees. It is just a rule somebody, somewhere, has designed. Must be a rule of modesty - now, that differs in most peoples' and cultures' way of thinking. Makes no sense to me, as I have never had an immodest thought about anybody's knees.
  • Ray
  • Thailand
  • 19 Feb 2016, 03:19
Hmmmm...what is offensive about knees, I wonder?

You have made a fine shot of this rather complex space, Louis.
Louis: I wonder with you about those knees. Thank for the comment Ray.
  • Philine
  • Germany
  • 19 Feb 2016, 06:47
I have not seen this church - a really special place - I like your informamtion and narrative.
Louis: Thank you Philine
The plaque(s) are missing for me, Louis (and everyone else?) but I do enjoy staring at the inside Basilica. In your write-up about Mary, I started thinking of "The Mists of Avalon" and how the segue was made from the ancient goddess to the Virgin Mary. I think you'd quite enjoy it, if you haven't yet seen it.
Louis: I haven't seen the Mists of Avalon, although I vaguely know the storyline. Basically the female dominated pagan world against the male dominated (egged on by their wives and lovers) puritan style Christian world. So, the segue would have slipped me by - it probably requires detail knowledge.
  • Chris
  • England
  • 19 Feb 2016, 07:13
Knees covered eh Louis, sounds a bit odd to me

I wonder if Gabriel has ever been back?
Louis: Odd to me too, since I never had an immodest thought about someone's knees in my life. Must be something Victorian that is left over from the past. Gabriel? I doubt it.
A wonderful illustration of your interesting narrative Louis!
Louis: Thank you Richard. I must say that these churches and other buildings, built over places where Christ must have been, is not such a worry to me. It is when they make claims that have glaring flaws in it, that I get irked.
  • Lisl
  • England
  • 19 Feb 2016, 08:28
I like the frugal decoration here, Louis
Louis: Outside of the picture is just wide open spaces, with something decorative or devotional sparingly placed around the place. As if it is a huge standing place only, arena. In my eyes a waste of good money with which the less privileged could have been helped.
It is all about tourist dollars in the end for id there are two making the claim, people will visit both.
Louis: I guess you have hit the nail on its head. Everyone wants 'in' on the occasion (whatever the occasion may be.
i like the wide open space, Louis. a nice point of view
Louis: There is more than double this space left open at the sides. Like a huge standing place only, arena.
  • Astrid
  • Netherlands
  • 19 Feb 2016, 17:18
Wonderful picture. I only see one, the other two are 'gone'...
My mom told me about it. It is an amazing place.
Louis: I found both the claims more amazing than the places itself, Astrid.
Can't have naked knees in Mary's house
Louis: It may hurt your knees and leave blood marks, if you were to grovel. Amazing what some people do at these places, Bill.
A very moody shot, Louis.
Louis: Yes, everything is in low light, with some spotlights directed at Mary's house. It must actually have been her parents' house, if it is the correct house.
An interesting view of old and new at the same time...
Louis: Their presentation is quite good, LArry.
All very well done isn't it. I'm wondering if somebody had a thing about people's 'knobbly knees' so ordered every-bodies should be covered!
Louis: Likely, but I believe it is some left-over from the years when decency meant a person wore a dress or pants long enough to cover the knees.
I can only view also... the top photo. The fresh flowers add nicely to the image.
Louis: I believe that with proper payment and prior permission, a group can attend mass or a service in that space.
I wonder why this 'top view only' happens. I log out and simulate a visitor and can still see everything. The code for the SC programming is HTML, which is of universal use with internet sites.

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