Capernaum on Sea of Galilee, the town of Jesus

Monday, 2 August 2021 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Union for the Mediterranean
Reading Time:  4 minutes

Catholic church, built over the house of Saint Peter © Herwig Reidlinger/cc-by-sa-3.0

Catholic church, built over the house of Saint Peter © Herwig Reidlinger/cc-by-sa-3.0

Capernaum was a fishing village established during the time of the Hasmoneans, located on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. It had a population of about 1,500. Archaeological excavations have revealed two ancient synagogues built one over the other. A house turned into a church by the Byzantines is believed to have been the home of Saint Peter. The real “House of Peter” is, of course, the St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, built over the tomb of Saint Peter.

The village was inhabited continuously from the 2nd century BC to the 11th century AD, when it was abandoned sometime before the Crusader conquest. This includes the re-establishment of the village during the Early Islamic period soon after the 749 earthquake. The village subsequently became known as Al-Samakiyya; it was depopulated of its Palestinian population during the 1947–1948 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine on May 4, 1948, under Operation Broom.

Modern church, built over the house of Saint Peter © David Shankbone/cc-by-sa-3.0 Roman olive press © David Shankbone/cc-by-sa-3.0 Ruins of the Roman-period town © David Shankbone/cc-by-sa-3.0 View from Lake Tiberias/Sea of Galilee © Tango7174/cc-by-sa-4.0 Aerial view © flickr.com - israeltourism/cc-by-2.0 Catholic church, built over the house of Saint Peter © Herwig Reidlinger/cc-by-sa-3.0 Great Synagogue of Capernaum, where Jesus spread Christian teaching © Eddie Gerald/cc-by-sa-3.0-igo
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Great Synagogue of Capernaum, where Jesus spread Christian teaching © Eddie Gerald/cc-by-sa-3.0-igo
Archaeological evidence demonstrates that the town was established in the 2nd century BC during the Hasmonean period, when a number of new fishing villages sprung up around the lake. The site had no defensive wall and extended along the northwestern shore of the lake. The cemetery zone is found 200 meters north of the synagogue, which places it beyond the inhabited area of the town. The historic site of Capernaum is 2.5 kilometers from Tabgha, an area which appears to have been used for agricultural purposes, judging by the many oil and grain mills which were discovered in the excavation. Fishing was also a source of income; the remains of another harbor were found to the west of that built by the Franciscans.

No sources have been found for the belief that Capernaum was involved in the bloody Jewish revolts against the Romans, the First Jewish-Roman War (AD 66–73) or Bar Kokhba’s revolt (132–135), although there is reason to believe that Josephus, one of the Jewish generals during the earlier revolt, was taken to Capernaum after a fall from his horse in nearby Bethsaida.

Josephus referred to Capernaum as a fertile spring. He stayed the night there after bruising his wrist in a riding accident. As early as 530 CE, Capernaum was mentioned in the writings of Theodosius the archdeacon who said that it was situated, as one goes northward from Tiberius, two miles from Tabga (Heptapegan) and six miles short of Bethsaida along the same route.

Read more on TouristIsrael.com – Capernaum and Wikipedia Capernaum (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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