November 21st 2012
The area surrounding the Sea of Galilee – called the Kinneret by locals – is a magical place filled with religious significance and natural beauty. From Jesus’ childhood home to the place where he delivered the Sermon on the Mount, Israel’s Galilee region is simply spectacular and well worth a stop on your tour to Israel.
First visit the holy town of Nazareth, where Mary learned of her immaculate conception and Jesus spent his childhood. Visit the imposing Basilica of the Annunciation, home to the Blessed Cave, where the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary in her and Joseph’s home. Also be sure to admire the depictions of Mary and child that have been sent from congregations around the world. Mary’s Well and the Church of St. Gabriel are worthwhile stopping points in Nazareth as well.
Next head to Capernaum National Park, home to the remains of a fishing village and synagogue from the period of the Second Temple. Learn about the location where Jesus selected his apostles and visit the modern day church that stands in the place of Peter’s house. Excavations have underathed well-preserved artifacts, like olive mills and presses, which tell modern day visitors about life in ancient Israel.
At the northwestern point of the gorgeous Sea of Galilee is the Mount of Beatitudes. It was here that Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount. Visit the remains of a Byzantine church that was erected in the 4th century and view its cistern and monastery. A pretty Roman Catholic Franciscan chapel, built in 1938, is also located on the site.
Nearby, head to the ancient Beit Alfa Synagogue, which was also built during the Byzantine period. The excavated house of worship is worth visiting for its incredibly well-preserved mosaic that vividly displays the Binding of Isaac, the Zodiac, and the Temple of Jerusalem.