Nazareth (năzˈərĭth) [key], town (1993 pop. 53,500), N Israel, in Galilee. As the home of Jesus, it is a great pilgrimage and tourist center. Nazareth is also the trade center for an agricultural region. The town's manufactures include processed food, cigarettes, and pottery. Mineral water is bottled here and stone quarried nearby. Nazareth is first mentioned in the New Testament, although its settlement antedates historic times. It was captured (1099) by Crusaders, taken (1187) by Saladin, and retaken (1229) by Frederick II. In 1263, Muslims conquered Nazareth, massacring its Christian population. In 1517, Nazareth was annexed by the Ottoman Empire. The town was part of the British-administered Palestine mandate (1922–48) and was captured by Israeli forces in the 1948 war. Adjacent to it, Upper Nazareth was established as a Jewish residential town (1989 est. pop. 25,000). The Basilica of the Annunciation and the Mosque of Peace are in Nazareth.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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