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Israel Travel Blog >> July 29 >> Highlights and Tips
 
Six Christian Sites Around the Sea of Galilee
 

Mount of BeatitudesMount of Beatitudes - Once known as Mt. Eremos, this hill is located between Capernaum and Tabgha and is just above the "Cove of the Sower". This spacious hillside provides room for religious gathering and in March 2000 the Pop held here an unforgettable mass. The mountain is topped by a Catholic chapel built in 1939 by the Franciscan Sisters. Designed by noted architect Antonio Barluzzi, the basilica is full of numerical symbolism. In front of the church, the symbols on the pavement represent Justice, Prudence, Fortitude, Charity, Faith and Temperance. The gardens surrounding the chapel are serene and picturesque; the view over looking the lake is breathtaking.
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The Church of Primacy in TabghaThe Church of Primacy - In Tabgha, overlooking the Sea of Galilee (or Tiberias), is the Church of the Primacy of St. Peter. At this place, warm springs used to flow into the Sea, attracting fish. This made it a popular fishing spot, which is why Peter came here to earn his living. According to tradition the Church was built on the rocks upon which Jesus stood as he ate breakfast and spoke with his. The rocks are seen both on the outside, and on the inside.
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Tabgha - Two miles west of Capernaum is what Josephus referred to as the "well of Capernaum". Undoubtedly a popular fishing spot of the locals because of its famous "seven springs", Heptapegon (today called Tabgha) is the traditional location for several episodes in Jesus' ministry such as the calling of the disciples.  It is believed that here Jesus walked along the shore and called out to Simon Peter and Andrew who were casting their nets into the lake. Later on, Jesus saw two other brothers, James and John who were preparing their nets with their father Zebedee. Jesus called all of these men to follow him.
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The Fish and the LoavesThe Fish and the Loaves Church - The Byzantine pilgrims were mistaken in locating the Fish and the Loaves miracle in Tabgha, but as a result of the myth a great Byzantine church was once standing here, decorated with fine mosaic art. This Byzantine mosaic is preserved under a lovely modern church, and many come here year after year to commemorate Jesus' feeding of the 5000.
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The Church of the Holy Apostles
Church of the Holy Apostles - The small red domed Greek Orthodox Church of the Seven Apostles was built in 1931 and marks the site where Capernaum was relocated following the 746 earthquake. An ancient fishing boat built sometime in the 1st century BCE was discovered in 1986 during an unusually low water level in Lake Kinneret. The 8-meter-long boat had been preserved in the mud of the lake-bed, and was found to contain various implements, including an oil lamp and a cooking pot. Dubbed the "Jesus boat," the craft has been carefully preserved and is now on display at nearby Kibbutz Ginosar.
 
The Yardenit Baptismal Site on the Jordan River
Yardenit – This inviting Baptismal site is situated at the southern end of the Sea of Galilee where the Jordan River flows out on its way to the Dead Sea. People from all over the world come to dip here as some believes that this is where Jesus was baptized. The Community Wall welcomes the visitors and describes the Baptism of Jesus with text taken from the New Testament. A path has been opened allowing Pilgrims to observe the natural flora and fauna alongside the Jordan River enabling them to conduct services in the natural surrounding. Empty bottles are available allowing visitors to take samples of the Holy Water as a memento. The Yardenit offers several baptismal sites for small groups as well as up to 1000 people at one time. And if you are lucky and the right group is visiting the site on the same day as you – Heavenly gospel singing will add the perfect soundtrack to your religious adventure.


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