Located in the heart of Nazareth, about 1,200 feet north of the Church of the Annunciation, Mary’s Well marks the central water fountain of the city in Medieval times and up to early 20th century. The fountain’s water came from a freshwater spring, some 300 feet up the hill. Sections of a water channel between the spring to the fountain are still visible. Associated with Mary by a centuries-old tradition, the fountain is called “The Virgin’s fountain” or “Mary’s Well”. Furthermore, the Greek-Orthodox church claim that here, at the spring, the angel Gabriel first approached Mary to announce on her miraculous impregnation. This tradition, based on the Apocryphal Protoevangelium of James, led the Greek-Orthodox church erect a church over the spring – Saint Gabriel Church.
Touring Mary’s Well
Located on the side of Nazareth’s main Road, the trough-shaped fountain is easily accessed. Sadly, despite the nice restoration of the structure, it does not always run, and is not always clean. Yet even if this traditional site doesn’t hold water (pun intended), it is still a well worth a stop while visiting Nazareth, reflecting local traditions that relate to Holy Family.
Next to the fountain, in Cactus café, surprising remains of a bath house were uncovered in the 1990s. Its owner claims they date to the time of Jesus. According the regional archaeologist they are from the later Roman period.
A tour of Mary’s Well can be combined with a guided day tour of Nazareth and the Galilee.