• Judith Goldcher

The Holy Christian sights of the Kinneret

Also known as the Sea of Galilee or Lake Tiberias, the Kinneret is one of the most beautiful places in Israel. Its serene landscapes and peaceful atmosphere make it my personal favorite. Today, let me introduce to you the importance of the area for Christians. Most of the ministry of Jesus occurs here, along with many of his miracles. Make sure to have the New Testament with you so you can see the text become a reality.

Photo by Judith Goldcher

MUST-SEE SITES


Capharnaum - The Town Of Jesus

Following his baptism, Jesus made his way to Capharnaum. He lived here for three years until he travels to Jerusalem where he is later crucified. It is here in this charming seaside village where he preached new beliefs. He resided at Saint Peter's house, which was to become the first "Domus-ecclesia" - a house church. Amazing ruins can be seen under this modern Church. You can also visit the white synagogue which is beautifully preserved from the Byzantine time. It is widely believed that underneath are the ruins of Jesus' synagogue, where he once taught.


Church of the Beatitudes

Photo by Judith Goldcher

The church was built by the renowned Italian Architect, Antonio Barluzzi. His specialty was building unique churches that represented the biblical story through their structure. Here, the central part of the church counts eight sides. Each side represents a beatitude in Jesus' sermon (Matthew 5:3–12). Berluzzi's Church sits on top of the Mountain, in perfect union with the biblical text, and offers a sublime view over the Lake.


Church of the Multiplication - Tabgha

According to tradition two main events took place here, the first being Jesus' miracle of the multiplication of loaves and fishes (Mark 6:30-46). Inside is a beautiful mosaic floor from the Byzantine period describing the scene. The second event is Jesus' fourth appearance after his resurrection (John 21:1-24). Take some time to enjoy the sound of the water and the fish swimming around. From here, walk five minutes to arrive at "little Tabgha".


Church of the Primacy of Saint Peter - little Tabgha

According to tradition, Jesus appeared here for the third time after his resurrection. He saved the Apostles from a storm on the Lake, walked on the water and fed them fish. Then he gave Peter primacy among the twelve Apostles (John 21:1-24). In this crucial moment, Peter becomes the first priest in history. Walking down the stairs you will find heart-shaped stones that lead towards the lake. The stones represent the Apostles and seem to beat with the rising tide. This is a divine space to relax and enjoy the surrounding nature.

Note: It is forbidden to swim as it is a holy spot, yet you can refresh your feet.


RECOMMENDED SITES


Kibbutz Nof Ginosar

This Kibbutz hosts the Yigal Allon Center and the incredible "Jesus Boat". In 1986, archaeologists found the frame of a 1st-century fishing boat in the Lake. It took eleven years and much ingenuity to preserve it. You won't see anything like that elsewhere! It was one of the boats described in the Bible and used by fishermen during the lifetime of Jesus.

Note: Book in advance to enjoy a boat ride on the Lake.


Photo by Judith Goldcher

Migdal - ancient city of Magdala

In 1908, German Catholics identified this city as the birthplace of Mary Magdalene. Here you can see the ruins of a 1st-century synagogue where Jesus had possibly taught. The discovery of its central stone excited archaeologists (as well as myself!) Carved into the stone is the oldest image ever found of the seven-branched menorah from the Second Temple. As well you can see the ancient ruins of the market place where locals sold pottery and fresh products. It is also suggested that there was a booming fish industry. The alleyways lead to a building that consists of different chapels, one of which hosts this impressive painting of Jesus' healing miracle.


I also suggest visiting Chorazin, Kursi National Park and the Yardenit Baptism site. Remember to check the opening hours for each site!


Do you know about the top 3 Christian pilgrimage sites in the world?

About the writer, Judith Goldcher

My name is Judith and I moved from France to Israel. As I love traveling, meeting new people, learning languages and act on stage, I found the job that put all this together and became a tour guide! I now live in Jerusalem and give tours all over the country in French, English, Hebrew and Mandarin Chinese.

Instagram: Jude.gold.9

Facebook: Gold Tours


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