Saint Joseph Church

Christian Sites in Nazareth

Saint Joseph Church is located in the complex of the Basilica of the Annunciation in the heart of the city of Nazareth. According to medieval tradition; Saint Joseph Church was built on the site of the workshop of St.Joseph, the husband of Miriam. And according to a later version; his house also stood on the site. For this reason, it is also called the Church of the Holy Family or the Church of the Nourishment; as it symbolizes the place where Jesus grew up and was nourished until adulthood. 

Archaeological Finds in the Area of Saint Joseph Church

Below the Saint Joseph Church were the remains of three cisterns; mosaics; caves, and barns dating to the first centuries CE. These are seen in the crypt of the church; and tradition attributes one of the caves to the place where Joseph’s workshop was located. Although the traveler Arculfe visited the city in the second half of the 7th century. In other words, after the Arab conquest of Israel. He testified to a church that stood next to the Byzantine Annouciaition Church; the archaeological findings do not support that these remains were part of a religious complex.

Also in the 12th century, a Crusader church was built on where St. Joseph’s Church is today. But was not dedicated to St. Joseph, and it was destroyed by the Mamluks. So it seems that the tradition according to which Joseph’s workshop was located here developed in the late Middle Ages; and the Franciscans purchased the area in 1754 and erected a chapel there which was dedicated to him. Now the current church was built in 1914 over the ancient remains and was renovated at the initiative of the Archbishop of the Galilee, George Hakim in 1956.

The Saint Joseph Church Crypt 

Two separate staircases lead to the crypt – one on the right nave of Saint Joseph Church and the other on its left nave. Moreover, in the crypt, the remains of the Crusader church built in the shape of a cross and including three naves and three apses have been preserved. Furthermore, the central apse is slightly elevated above the level of the crypt; with a marble altar standing on a stone pillar. Above it hangs a crucifix and around it a synthronon in which nine simple seats are made of wood and stone.

In fact, its ceiling is made in the shape of a half dome and has stained glass depicting Joseph’s marriage to Miriam. Also in the crypt of Saint Joseph Church are two more stained glass windows depicting; like the frescoes in the upper church; the revelation of the angel to Joseph in his dream; when he ordered him not to expel Miriam after discovering that she was pregnant, and Joseph when he’s old in years. From the main nave of the crypt, seven steps lead to an even lower level, where a basin paved with a mosaic about two meters long and a single meter wide was discovered. 


Hi! My name is Arik Haglili, an Israeli native who decided to dedicate his life to share my knowledge about the Holy Land to those that are interested to know more about this amazing piece of land. My career as a private tour guide started at the International School For the Studying of the Holocaust and the rest is history. 

Did you know the Hoopoe is Israel's national bird?! For more cool info about Israel, join our ever growing community and get exclusive travel tips, and giveaways!

Mount Precipice



Bethphage is located in Mt. Olives and the place from which Jesus sent his disciples to find a colt upon which he would ride into Jerusalem.

House of Simon the Tanner

Where’s the House of Simon the Tanner in Jaffa? So before getting into that let’s talk about him just for a bit! so Simon the ...

Dormition Abbey

The Dormition Abbey Jerusalem also known as Abbey of the Dormition is a wonderful site to visit when touring Jerusalem. Click here for more!

Ilana Goor Museum

The Ilana Goor Museum is an art museum located in Old Jaffa. The museum was founded in 1995 by the artist, designer, and sculptor Ilana Goor.

Tomb of Benei Hezir

The Tomb of Benei Hezir is a tomb hewn from stone in the historic Mount of Olives Jewish cemetery of Jerusalem. Previously (and mistakenly) known ...

Alona Park (Mey Kedem)

Alona Park is a natural park near the entrance, there is the water dam "Mey Kedem," a water aqueduct from the Roman-Byzantine period.

Hall of Names

The Hall of Names is a building at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs ‘and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority in Jerusalem; where the names of millions of ...

Temple Mount

The Temple Mount is a holy compound for Jews, Muslims, and Christians in Old City of Jerusalem. Today is the third holiest place in Islam.

Tel Hai Monument

The Tel Hai Monument is a Jewish national monument in Upper Galilee commemorates the deaths of eight Jews who fell in the Battle of Tel Hai.

Mount of Beatitudes

Perched on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, between Capernaum and the Gennesaret archeological site, is the stunning Mount of Beatitudes.

Need help?