Where to go Guide
The Church of the Visitation is the site where, according to tradition, Mary met her cousin Elizabeth and sang a hymn of praise, the “Magnificat,” a song of gratitude to God (Luke 1:39-56).
In the 14th century, the sanctuary was under the care of Armenian monks, who left it shortly afterwards. The Franciscans acquired the site in 1679. In 1937, the site underwent excavation led by Father B. Bagatti. The new sanctuary was built by the architect Antonio Barluzzi from 1939-40, preserving all Byzantine and Crusader ruins found on the site in the new Church. There can be seen a small grotto that once contained a spring. Historically, the place became a worship site during the Byzantine period. Later, the Crusaders built a large, two-storey church on the site, which collapsed after it was abandoned.
Between the Church of St. John the Baptist and the Church of the Visitation, there is a spring known by the pilgrims during the 14th century AD as the "Virgin Mary Spring".