I posted pictures of Nazareth, but did not get to write about it. So I wanted to share a few things quickly, then I will share more pictures so your can see.
Nazareth is an all Arab city now.
There are two primary Christian sites: a church built on the site where Joseph’s home was, and a church built on the site where Mary’s home was. Both churches are modern, with Mary’s church being the newest (built in the 60’s). However, in and under both churches are the original church sites (not the original sites) from the time of the Crusaders, which include some pieces of the actual original homes.
Because Nazareth is on the hillside, the homes were constructed by carving through the rock to make a bell shaped cave, or hole under the house. This cave became the cistern, or well, for the family to have water. The rocks taken from the cave were the rocks they used to build the house on top. The rock is a soft rock that soaks in the moisture during winter, and then mineralizes as it dries in the summer. This is how the rock become strong and why the sites (and many others here) are so well preserved.
When they built Mary’s church in the 1960’s, many countries contributed a mosaic of their idea of Mary. For example, the Mexico Mary is depicted as visiting the Fatima children, and the Japanese Mary wears a kimono made out of real pearls. The American Mary is the only one in 3D, a sculpture more than a mosaic, in a bright silver gown with a tie dye background! I will post pictures of these so you can see.
I hope that helps better explain the pictures. I am sorry I could not do it sooner!