Top 3 Christian Sites on the Sea of Galilee

For Christian Pilgrims, the Sea of Galilee in the north of Israel, is as important as Jerusalem. The Sea of Galilee is actually a fresh water lake, known in Israel as Kinneret. Jesus was raised in Nazareth, which is in the region but not right on the lake. A great deal of his teaching was focused on the communities around the lake.

The top 3 Christian sites to visit there are:

Capernaum
After leaving his hometown of Nazareth, Jesus made Capernaum, on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee, the center of his ministry. The Gospels tell many stories of Jesus teaching and healing there.

Today, you can see the remains of a 4th-century synagogue, which stands on top of an earlier synagogue that is likely the one where Jesus preached. The remains of Peter’s House and the 5th-century church built around it can be viewed through the glass floor of the modern church built over the site. The tradition that the house belonged to Peter (the disciple of Jesus also known as Simon)  goes back to the middle of the 1st century.

 

5th-century Loaves and Fishes mosaic at the Church of the Multiplication, Tabgha

5th-century Loaves and Fishes mosaic at the Church of the Multiplication, Tabgha

Tabgha
The feeding of the 5000 with 2 fishes and 5 loaves of bread, known as the Miracle of the Multiplication, is traditionally believed to have taken place at Tabgha on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee. The modern Chuch of the Multiplication is built on the remains of two Byzantine churches and incorporates some fine 5th-century mosaics, including one of 2 fishes and a basket of bread. Nearby, the Church of the Primacy of Peter stands right on the shore at the spot where the risen Jesus appeared for the fourth time and named the disciple Simon Peter as the head of his Church, according to Roman Catholic tradition.

 

Church of the Beatitudes, photo by Itamar Grinberg, courtesy of the Israel Ministry of Tourism

Church of the Beatitudes, photo by Itamar Grinberg, courtesy of the Israel Ministry of Tourism

Mount of Beatitudes
Also on the northwest side of the Sea of Galilee, the traditional site of the Sermon on the Mount is marked today by a modern, octagonal chapel, in honor of the 8 Beatitudes:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

All of these sites are in very close proximity and together make an easy 1/2 day of touring. Click to see tours that include these sites.

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