Gordon Tours Israel Blog

The Most Beautiful Christian Sites in Israel

Icon March 25, 2020
Icon By Shai Navon
Icon 0 comments

The Middle East – especially the nation of Israel – is widely known as the Land of the Bible. But the power of those words can sometimes get a little lost. When a guest walks in the same place that Jesus Christ once preached, when someone visits place where Mary received the Annunciation, or touches the stones at the site of Christ’s crucifixion, the absolute power of the tangible, historical location can’t be denied. Israel is home to some of the most integral and beautiful Christian locales in the world.

Here are a few highlights:

Bethlehem – The Church of the Nativity

One of the most famous small towns in the world, Bethlehem is where it all began – the birth of the Lord. The actual location of this holy event is preserved in a grotto underneath the Church of the Nativity, a vital destination for Christian pilgrims. The hallowed grotto is small yet intense, and many Christian visitors find great power and solace in kneeling on its floor to pray. While in Bethlehem, don’t miss the Shepherd’s Field, the field in which the angel appeared to the three shepherds foretelling the birth of the son of God.

Church of the Nativity
Church of the Nativity

Nazareth – Church of the Annunciation

If Bethlehem is where it all began, then perhaps we can consider this Nazareth church a precursor. In Nazareth – a charming hill town populated by winding streets and Christian churches, you can visit the site of the annunciation, where a young Mary was visited and told she would be bearing the child of the Lord. The Church of the Annunciation, built over this monumental spot, has grandiose architecture matching the grand event it commemorates. Another exciting feature of this church is the art which is displayed throughout the building, including renderings of the Annunciation scene from Christian communities all around the globe.

Church of the Annunciation
Church of the Annunciation

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Sea of Galilee – Mount of the Beatitudes

The Sea of Galilee (the “Kineret” in Hebrew) would be an unmissable stop on a trip to Israel, even without its outsize significance for Christians. This large body of water is situated in an Israeli lake and hill district reminiscent of Tuscany, with large trees and a perpetual breeze on the banks. The sea is, of course, most renowned as being the body of water upon which Jesus walked, but in fact his miracles there are myriad – the area surrounding the sea is where the miracle of the loaves and fishes took place, as well as the miraculous catch of the fish when Peter was called. Finally, the Mount of the Beatitudes, the site of Christ’s most famous sermon, overlooks the sea, just to the north. Placid and stunning, the mount offers gorgeous vistas that provide worshippers the opportunity to gaze at the Mount and the Sea, while reflecting on Christ’s life and teachings.

Mount of the Beatitudes
Mount of the Beatitudes

Jerusalem – Church of the Holy Sepulchre

No visit to the Holy Land would be complete without a stop in Jerusalem, and the number one destination for most Christian tourists is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre – the actual location of the crucifixion of the Savior. This remarkably holy and historic site is guarded by a cadre of monks and priests of several Christian denominations. Housing not just the site of the crucifixion, but also Christ’s tomb, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre has been a solemn and sacred destination for Christian pilgrims for centuries.

Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Israel is a bucket list, can’t-miss destination for any Christian. Religious, historic, and archaeological sites abound, and the spiritual connection to Christ that is offered by exploring the tangible history of Israel shouldn’t be missed by anyone looking to deepen their Christian faith and explore the world from a Christian viewpoint.

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