Basilica of the Annunciation
HISTORY OF THE MUSEUM

Designed in the 1970's by Br. Rafael Dorado, OFM, under the direction of the Franciscan archaeologist, Fr. Michele Piccirillo, OFM, this small museum was conceived out of the need to preserve the immense archaeological heritage recently discovered by the Franciscan, Fr. Belarmino Bagatti, OFM. (1955-60).

Fr. Prospero Viaux, OFM, early twentieth century, had already discovered in the cellars of the old Franciscan convent of Nazareth, important findings, such as the "Crusader Capitals".

Br. Rafael, with the cooperation of the manager of the Museum, Mr. Edward Mousallam, began work on finding a suitable venue for display of these artifacts in the ancient Franciscan Convent. In the Franciscan Convent lie the remains of the ancient village of Nazareth, from the time of Jesus.

Today, in this small but very important museum, are housed many objects from the Middle Bronze Age, up through the Turkish period. Additionally, there are items dating back to the Old Testament Israelite period, the Herodian-Roman era, and Byzantine and Crusade times.
Within these walls we find the famous graffito "Xe Mapia" and the masterpieces of the Crusader Capitals.

Currently, we are exploring a project that includes the cleaning of the archaeological site as well as a restructuring of the old museum which will offer more space for visitors.


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