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“A coin toss”

The Ancient Bath House in Nazareth
Ranked #12 of 29 things to do in Nazareth
Attraction details
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
437 reviews
231 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 572 helpful votes
“A coin toss”
Reviewed 18 April 2013

Background: Near Mary's Well and underneath a small souvenir shop called Cactus, there lies an ancient public bathhouse, reportedly dating to Jesus' time. Discovered in 1993 by the shop's owner Elias Shama, the unearthed site still bears its well-preserved hot room (sauna), underfloor heating and vent system as well as the ancient furnace. Because it is (so far) the only public bathhouse in Nazareth, it is claimed that Mary and, by inference, also Jesus, may have bathed here.

PRO: It is so close to Mary's Well and to St. Gabriel's Church that it can be easily included as part of any tour of the Orthodox Church of Annunciation. The gift shop offers traditionally-made souvenirs, crafts, jewelry and the like. The guided tour is led by the owner himself and thus possess intimate knowledge of the excavation site. Reservations, though recommended, are not required. Complimentary coffee and cake is included after the tour.

CON: The only access is through the Cactus gift shop, and the owner charges a flat rate of £22 (up to a group of 4 people) for entrance into the bathhouse. That's way too expensive for solo visitors! There's only one tour guide. Without prior reservations, you may have to wait long for another group to finish before entering. Most importantly, the age and nature of the bathhouse is still under controversy, as not all experts agree.

Verdict: An interesting archeological site, for sure, but it is expensive for solo travelers. It loses one star for poor monetary value. However, considering that the excavator (Elias) is neither funded by the government nor by the academia, he can be forgiven for that slight. Perhaps, if he pro-rated his admission fee, then... Otherwise, if going solo, wait for a group to visit and then join them. It's a coin toss for me. Your call.

Visited May 2012
Helpful?
3 Thank Eternal_Nomad_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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45 reviews from our community

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München
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Fascinating!”
Reviewed 16 February 2013

An extremely fascinating building and fascinating story behind it's recovery. Very much worth visiting. Whereelse can you crawl right through a huge Roman heating system!? Elias explains all his discoveries quite vividly and has achieved a lot of knowledge which he enjoys sharing with you.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Rinrintin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kitchener, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A hidden gem”
Reviewed 22 December 2012

A must see in Nazareth. An amazing place and story of the place, beautifully told by Alias the tour guide. 120 shekel for 4 people is 30 shekel per person, including coffee and sweets, so, IMO, not pricey.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank yuvalif
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Miami Beach, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
508 reviews
376 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 288 helpful votes
“Very well kept but super pricey”
Reviewed 2 October 2012

If your passing by and money and value do not matter to you, go in. It is very pricey and your money is better spent elsewhere.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
Thank Chris S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nashville, Tennessee
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Do not skip this, a true hidden treasure”
Reviewed 30 January 2012

The owner was a true gentlemen, we felt as if we were welcomed into his home. I have no doubt that this is a spot that Jesus bathed in. No doubt. It made our trip to Nazareth. I've told countless people about it after we went.

Visited July 2011
Helpful?
Thank JonahTOC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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