Language Options



Nazareth and the Galilee



2.2 d) Nazareth and surrounding map


Convent and Basilica of the Annunciation
Al-Bishara str.
P.O.Box 23
16100 Nazaret


+972. 04 657 25 01 (convent)
+972. 04 656 00 01 (info point for pilgrims)


Opening hours Basilica of the Annunciation
Lower Basilica (Grotto): 5:45 am – 9 pm
Upper Basilica: 8:00 am – 6pm


Opening hours Church of St. Joseph 7 am – 6pm
Opening hours of the Archaelogical Museum:
From Monday to Saturday: 8 am – 12 pm / 2 pm – 6pm (during winter the museum closes at 5pm)


The Activity of the Custody of the Holy Land in Nazareth 

The mystery of the Incarnation begins here with the announcement by the angel Gabriel to Mary. The modern basilica contains the precious remains of “Mary’s House,” together with other testimonies to the long history of the Christian presence. The Franciscans gained possession of the sanctuary in 1620. In 1730 a small church could be built, which would last, with some modifications, until 1954. That year it was decided to undertake archaeological excavations, led by Father Bellarmino Bagatti, and to build the modern basilica that was inaugurated in 1969.


According to Christian tradition, in addition to the basilica of the Annunciation, the Church of Saint Joseph is also in Nazareth. The sanctuary is called the Church of the Nutrition because Jesus lived and grew up here until he was an adult, learning his father’s trade.


Today the Franciscans in Nazareth have a parish community of 5,000 faithful gathered around the Sanctuary of the Annunciation. The Franciscan Terra Sancta College occupies a large building connected to the convent and has about 800 Christian and Muslim students, thus fostering religious integration. Other social activities are turned to the elderly in the nursing home and the disabled who benefit from having their own center. Additionally, the Custody built some homes to support the persons in need.


The pilgrims’ hostel Casa Nova, today completely renovated, is very often the first sign of the Franciscan hospitality for the visitors to the Holy Land who here spend their first night. The location is strategic: it’s sufficient to cross the road to reach the Basilica of the Annunciation.


The Activity of the Custody of the Holy Land in the Galilee

In the Galilee, a region of the State of Israel, the Custody of the Holy Land is in charge of a great number of sanctuaries, churches, archeological sites and activities, starting from Nazareth, the city of the Holy Family. The list – incomplete – includes the locations on the See of Galilee (also known as Kinneret or Lake of Genezareth) like Capharnaum (the house of St. Peter and the ancient synagogue), Tabgha (Church of the Primacy of St. Peter and site of the miracle of the multiplication of the loves and the fishes), the ancient ruins of Magdala and of the Sanctuary of the Beatitudes, the Church and Parish of St. Peter in Tiberias with the pilgrims’ hostel Casa Nova (managed by the Koinonia Community). Moving towards Nazareth one cannot fail to notice and visit the marvelous Basilica of the Transfiguration located on Mount Tabor. Near Nazareth we find Cana, where the first miracle of Jesus is commemorated and the Chapel of St. Bartholomew with the parish center stands.


In Naim, where the widow’s son resurrected, the Custody recently renovated the church (despite the fact that the village is all Muslim) for the benefit of the pilgrims. An important pastoral activity takes place in the convent of St. Gabriel Archangel in Mujeidel (Migdal Haemeq).


The Organs of Nazareth


LEE_060330_ (W)



On December 8, 2012, three organs built by the Austrian company Rieger were inaugurated in Nazareth (go to the link of the news and video report of the event). One organ was installed in the Church of Saint Joseph, another one in the Lower Basilica of the Annunciation while the largest one was placed in the Upper Basilica.


The Italian organist Paolo Oreni, chosen to play at the inaugural concert, presented the different organs during a brief interview given before the concert:


The organ in the Church of St. Joseph, really beautiful, has a keyboard with registers divided between sopranos and bass, allowing the organist to play a cantabile even with one keyboard.


The organ of the Lower Basilica, with two keyboards and 16 registers, has a very distinctive sound because, being lower, allows the execution of old baroque music with a more specific detail.


The organ in Upper Basilica, the largest and more ‘symphonic’ of the three, is divided in two bodies and features three keybords with 49 registers (registers that replicate, for the most part, the instruments of a symphonic orchestra like the flute, the oboe, the trumpet): it is a very loud instrument, because the Upper Basilica needs a powerful instrument due to the presence of the massive dome and to support the pilgrims singing in full voice. This organ is exceptional, nicely harmonized in this magnificent space.”



Inauguration of the three new organs of Nazareth (December 8, 2012)


Presentation piece (Fr. Armando Pierucci)
(Italian): //


News report (Fr. Riccardo Ceriani)
(Italian): //
(English): //


Video of the event:
(Italian): //
(English) : //
(Arabic): //


Follows the technical description of the two Rieger organs located in the Basilica of the Annunciation of Nazareth.


Organ of the Upper Church


Grand Organo I. man. C – a3

  1. Bordone 16′
  2. Principale 8′
  3. Flauto armon. 8′
  4. Gamba 8′
  5. Bordone camino 8′
  6. Ottava 4′
  7. Flauto 4′
  8. Duodecima 2 2/3′
  9. Decimaquinta 2′
  10. Ripieno grave IV 2′
  11. Ripieno acuto III 1′
  12. Cornetto V 8′ from g0
  13. Tromba 16′
  14. Tromba 8′


Positivo II. man. C – a3

  1. Principalino 8′
  2. Bordone 8′
  3. Ottava 4′
  4. Flauto camino 4′
  5. Sesquialtera II 2 2/3′
  6. Flauto 2′
  7. Decimanona 1 1/3′
  8. Piccolo 1′
  9. Cimbalo III – IV 1′
  10. Cromorne 8′




Recitativo III. man. C – a3

  1. Quintatön 16′
  2. Flauto 8′
  3. Bordone 8′
  4. Viola da Gamba 8′
  5. Viola celeste 8′ from c0
  6. Ottavina 4′
  7. Flauto trav. 4′
  8. Nazardo 2 2/3′
  9. Flauto ottav. 2′
  10. Terza 1 3/5′
  11. Pienino III – V2′
  12. Bassone 16′
  13. Tromba 8′
  14. Oboe 8′
  15. Clarino 4′
  16. Campane Tubular bells g°-g²




Pedale C-f1

  1. Principale 16′
  2. Subbasso 16′
  3. Violon 16′
  4. Ottava 8′
  5. Violoncello 8′
  6. Bordone 8′
  7. Flauto concerto 4′
  8. Bombarda 16′
  9. Trombone 8′


Couplers: II/I, III/I, III/II, I/P, II/P, III/P


Accessories:Rieger Combination System:
10 User with
1000 Combinations each with
3 Inserts each
Archive for 250 Tracks with
250 Combinations each
4 Crescendi adjustable
Copy function; Repeat function, General cancel
Console: Electric
Specials: Rieger Tuning System; Rieger Replay System


Organ of the Lower Church

Grand Organo I. man. C – a3

  1. Principale 8′
  2. Viola da Gamba 8′
  3. Bordone 8′
  4. Ottava 4′
  5. Principale 2′
  6. Ripieno III 2′
  7. Tromba 8′


Positivo (expr.) II. man. C – a3

  1. Copula 8′
  2. Salicionale 8′
  3. Flauto armon. 8′
  4. Flauto 4′
  5. Sesquialtera II 2 2/3′
  6. Flauto 2′


Pedale C-f1

  1. Subbasso 16′
  2. Bordone 8′
  3. Bassone 16′


Couplers: II/I, I/P, II/P


Accessories:Rieger Combination System:
10 User with
1000 Combinations each with
3 Inserts each
Archive for 250 Tracks with
250 Combinations each
Copy function
Repeat function
General cancel
Console: Electric
Specials: Rieger Tuning System; Rieger Replay System




Terra Sancta Organ Festival