The north of Israel is one of the most beautiful places of the country, we would like to present you with a few amazing spots to visit with a private driver in north Israel, no extra guidance needed after reading this article!
CHURCH OF THE MULTIPLICATION OF BREAD AND FISH IN TABGHA
Evangelical history, preserved Jewish and Christian shrines. On the northwestern shore of the lake, according to the New Testament, Jesus performed most of his deeds and miracles. Therefore, these places are especially attractive to Christians around the world.
Tabgha (Israel) attractions. In Tabgha, according to the testimony of the evangelists, Jesus performed a miracle by feeding 5,000 men with five loaves of bread and two fish. In memory of this event, a church was erected in the same place in the 4th century. According to the testimony of pilgrims of that time, the altar of this church was a stone on which Jesus multiplied the bread.
At the end of the 5th century, the church was rebuilt, expanded, and reoriented to the east with the altar. A fragment of the mosaic flooring of this second church has been perfectly preserved and is now in the new Church of the Multiplication of Loaves and Fishes, erected in 1982, in the same place.
The modern Church of the Multiplication of Bread and Fish is a replica of a 5th-century church. At the same time, its interior is very modest, so as not to drown out the beauty of ancient mosaics, which are a unique example of early Christian art. The mosaic flooring depicts the aquatic plants and animals of ancient Galilee.
In front of the altar, there is a mosaic depicting fish and loaves. To the right of the altar, under glass, are the remains of the foundation of the first church of the 4th century. And the limestone monolith found during the excavations of the church was placed under the altar of the modern church. This is likely the very stone on which Jesus multiplied the bread.
The Franciscan Church of the primacy of the Apostle Peter in Takhba stands on the very spot where Jesus, for the third time after his resurrection, appeared before his disciples and shared a meal with them after a successful fishing trip. The second name of the Church is the Table of Christ, associated with the rock located in its altar part, where, according to legend, the same Gospel meal took place.
According to the Gospel of John, during the meal, Jesus restored the apostolic dignity of Peter, after his threefold denial, entrusting him to “feed my sheep”. Catholics believe that by these words Jesus gave the Apostle Peter the primacy over the other apostles. That is why the Catholic church standing on this place is called the Church of the primacy of the Apostle Peter. However, Orthodox Christians interpret the words of Jesus differently and call this place "Peter's repentance."
The site where these evangelical events took place is an ancient fishing pier with steps to the water carved into the rock. It was from here that the apostles, being fishermen, sailed to fish. On the site of the very pier in the 4th century, the first church was erected, which was subsequently destroyed and rebuilt many times.
The gray stone church, which can be seen today, was built in 1933. It is small in size and practically devoid of decor; the main attraction is the very Table of Christ in the altar part. A bell tower crowned with a cross rises above one of the corners of the church. The steps of the same fishing pier have also been preserved. Here they are, fenced off with a metal fence, and look very symbolic - as if Peter's boat had anchored here forever.
In the time of Jesus, the water reached the very steps, now the water level in the Kinneret Lake has dropped significantly, from the church to the water 15-20 meters.
Entrance and entry to the territory: free.
How to get there: If you plan to travel by yourself, go to the intersections of highways 87 and 90 (Kfar-Nachum junction), otherwise our driver in Israel to the north part of the country will take care of the route.
FROM THE TOP: MOUNT OF BEATITUDES
Our driver to the north of Israel will drive just 4 km from Tabgha straight to the Mount of Beatitudes, where, according to legend, Jesus delivered his famous Sermon on the Mount, the most famous part of which is the Beatitudes. After preaching, the Twelve Apostles were chosen here.
The mountain, however, is more like a hill in size, since its height is just over 100 meters. At the top of the mountain rises the Catholic octagonal Church of the Beatitudes, each side of which is dedicated to one of the eight Beatitudes.
1. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
2. Blessed are they that weep, for they will be comforted.
3. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
4. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
5. Blessed are the merciful, for they will have mercy.
6. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
7. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
8. Blessed are those cast out for righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
These Beatitudes from the famous Sermon on the Mount of Jesus are immortalized in stained glass windows under the very dome of the temple. In fact, there are nine Beatitudes, but the ninth is believed to repeat one of the eight.
9. Blessed are you when they revile you and persecute you and in every way unrighteously revile you for Me. Rejoice and be glad, for great is your reward in heaven: in this way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
The Church of the Beatitudes was built in 1937 by the Italian architect Antonio Barluzzi. The open gallery of the temple offers stunning views of the Sea of Galilee.
Entrance or entry to the territory is paid: the cost of 1 shekel per pedestrian, 5 shekels from the car.
How to get there: after the Kfar-Nachum junction (intersection of highways 87 and 90), drive along Highway 90 to the north, on the right side of the mountain you will see the dome of the church, and then turn onto country road 8177.
LUXURY ANCIENT PERIOD: CAPERNAUM
After a short driving in the north region you will reach with your private Israeli driver to Capernaum or Kefar Nachum, which was a thriving fishing port at the beginning of the era, Jesus settled after his expulsion from Nazareth. According to the Gospel in the synagogue of Capernaum, Jesus read his sermons for a long time, and also performed miracles of healing and resurrection. Jesus did not wait for repentance from the inhabitants of Capernaum, on whom he so hoped. But here he found most of his disciples and followers, including the fishermen Peter and Andrew, who became apostles.
The ruins of a great white synagogue were discovered by the Franciscans in the 19th century during the construction of the monastery. It was completely excavated already in the 20th century. The White Synagogue was built in the 3rd-6th centuries AD. era, apparently, on the site of the very synagogue in Capernaum where Jesus preached to the fishermen. Even dilapidated, this magnificent basilica of marble and white dolomite is considered the most luxurious synagogue in Galilee.
Together with the white synagogue, the remains of the surrounding fishing village, with docks for boats, residential buildings, oil presses, and black basalt wineries, have been excavated.
In the first half of the 8th century, during the earthquake, Capernaum was destroyed, and since then lies in ruins. Apparently, the prediction of Jesus came true: "And you Capernaum - ascended to heaven, to hell - you will be overthrown."
Entrance to the territory is paid: the cost of visiting is 5 shekels per person.
How to get there: Take Highway 87 to the Capernaum sign
CAPERNAUM TEMPLE OF THE 12 APOSTLES
On the northwestern bank of the Kinneret, it's hard not to notice the ornate church of the Greek monastery of the Twelve Apostles. It was built on the eastern part of the ruins of Capernaum in 1925, according to legend, at the very place where Jesus healed the paralytic.
During the difficult period of the formation of the State of Israel, the temple ended up on the border with Syria. As a result, the monks were forced to leave him, and he himself was desecrated by the local Druze and fell into decay.
After the six-day war in 1967, during which the Israeli border was moved to the Golan Heights, the territory of the monastery was returned to the Greek Patriarchate.
Since 1969, the temple began to be restored, and since 1995 it has been painted. The twelve domes of this Orthodox church are painted, contrary to Greek tradition, not blue, but pink. The painting of the temple captures the Gospel stories from the life of Jesus: walking on the waters, pacifying the storm, healing the sick, etc. The main shrine of the temple is the Passionate Icon of the Mother of God, from which many miracles were shown.
The Orthodox Church of the 12 Apostles (Capernaum) is funded by pilgrims and the gates of this hospitable monastery are almost always open.
An unusual patriarchal atmosphere reigns here with a half-neglected but rich garden, with shady alleys and gazebos, with chickens, peacocks, and other domestic animals. It is hard to believe that this entire household is managed by one single monk - Father Irinarchus from Greek Macedonia.
Entrance and entry to the territory: free.
How to get there: from Capernaum, drive a little north along Highway 87, the twelve domes of the temple will be hard to miss.
This is truly an amazing route to take from Tel Aviv or Jerusalem to the north region of Israel, if you are not a big fan of driving and finding parking, this is the right option for you, book today a private drive to the north of Israel and enjoy a fascinating day with your loved ones. This tour is highly recommended for Christians, consider an option visiting the Jordan River too.