Galilee

  Between the stories of the the Nativity and the Passion, most of the the recorded activities of Christ happened around the Sea of Galilee, and the main focus was the city of Capernaum, which is about 30 kilometres north of Nazareth. Our tour took in many of the key locations, some real, some legendary, some contested. 
Sea of Galilee
  A beautiful location, though, perhaps ominously, close to the Golan heights and the Syrian border, much contested and redrawn over the years. All seemed peaceful on our visit. A Sea of Galilee boat trip is a must do tourist activity, and we very much enjoyed ours. And yes, a fish was caught - a very small one that was thrown back. It was suggested that he tried the other side of the boat, which I'm sure would have been much more successful. 




Mount of  Beatitudes

  Traditionally, the site of the Sermon on the Mount. The topography, apparently, makes this a particularly good location for public speaking, which supports the tradition. There was a Byzantine church here founded in the fourth century. The present church - rather an attractive building for once - was built in 1938.


Tabgha - the Church of the Heptapegon

The place where, it is said, the feeding of the five thousand took place. As with the Mount of Beatitudes, there was a Byzantine church here dating from around 350. The present church was built in the 1980s, and in my view it is a very fine building, built to match the remains of the slightly later Byzantine church of around 480 built by one Martyrius of Jerusalem. A  wonderful feature of the church is the original mosaic floor, beautifully restored. It is described as a Nile mosaic, because of the particular plants and creatures depicted. Martyrius is said to have been an Egyptian.  The stone behind the fish and bread mosaic is said to be the place where Christ stood while he performed the miracle. 





Capernaum
  And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught. Mark 1 21
   The ruins of that synagogue are impressive:



 
  Slightly more questionable is the authenticity of House of Peter, though it is claimed it has been venerated as such since the first century.  From my point of view,  extremely questionable is the spider-like 21st century church that straddles it. 




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On to Jerusalem