Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth, Israel is one of the places during the pilgrimage trip that I loved. I love this place so much, as I am a fan of arts and architecture. Not that I am a die-hard fan that know details about those things, but I just love them visually — for now!
The byzantine style structure
Basilica of the Annunciation or also known the Church of the Annunciation, is one of the Catholic church with Byzantine style architecture. I have done a brief reading about this Byzantine style that started by the Emperor Justinian I. The byzantine style usually has a big structure with big marble walls and mosaic decorations, plus there are plenty of windows, especially in the clerestory area, or the upper side of the structure. The reason why they put lots of window on the upper side of the structure is simple, i.e. to let the sun light in 🙂 .
The other thing that you might notice with the Byzantine style is the raised dome at the round or polygonal centre. Then you will remember one famous icon that is located in Turkey. Yes, Hagia Sophia is one of the basilica (now a museum) that adopt the Byzantine style. If you want to read more about the Byzantine style, I found a nice article with a thorough but simple explanation. You can just click here. There is also a short video about Byzantine style, but you need to register to watch the full video, click here.
The Basilica of the Annunciation
Let’s go back to Basilica of the Annunciation. Why this is part of the pilgrimage trip? The word ‘annunciation’ came from the word the ‘announcement’, i.e. the announcement of the angel Gabriel to Mary that she would carry the baby Immanuel (or Jesus) when her age was 16. This announcement happened when she was at her parent’s house. Now, imagine that you or your daughter said to you, that she’s pregnant (when she’s 16 years old), with no husband. What is your respond? Some people will be surprised hearing that news. Luckily, God has sent Joseph to be Mary’s husband. FYI, at that time, it was normal for a Nazareth girl to get married at younger age, just like Mary.
The other thing why this church is named as the Basilica of the Annunciation, is because this church is built on top of the house of Mary’s parents.
The images of Mary through the eyes of various artists
The Basilica of the Annunciation is built during the Order of Franciscans in 1969, and the Pope Paul VI asked the Catholic people to make an image of Mary based on their culture. This is the next thing of why I love this place! There are many paintings, arts, or sculpture of Mary that were made by various artists from various nations, including Indonesia! You might guess from now, what Mary wears on the painting made by the Indonesian artist? 😉
The area of Basilica of the Annunciation is so big, well, the basilica itself is already big, and there are two areas where I could see these images of Mary. Outside of the basilica is mostly the paintings of Mary, while inside the basilica, I could find plenty of big and beautiful and gorgeous sculptures of Mary. Now, looking at my photos, I regret that I didn’t take some of the them seriously, just point and shot haha!
Anyway, here are the photos of the paintings located outside of the basilica.
Now, these are sculptures located inside of the basilica.
And this one is really my favourite!
Don’t you love this basilica?! Lots of paintings and sculptures with great architecture! It’s truly a feast to the eyes!
So, what’s your answer? Which one is the painting made by the Indonesian artist?
Of course, the answer is the left one — as on the painting, Mary wears kebaya cloth 🙂 . The center is from Singapore, and the right one is from China.
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