Capernaum Visiting Christian Sites in Israel

Revised and Updated - April 2024

Capernaum - The City of Jesus

The ancient Biblical village of Capernaum lies in the picturesque Galilee region of northern Israel, on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee. For Christians all over the world, the quaint town of Capernaum represents more than just a historical site. It is a living testament to the faith and miracles of Jesus Christ. Every stone, every inscription, bears witness to the profound impact of his ministry on this humble village by the sea. It’s no wonder that Capernaum attracts thousands of visitors from across the globe all year round. During his pilgrimage journey in 2000, Pope John Paul II visited Capernaum, marking another significant moment in the site’s religious history.


capernaum in israel

The History of Capernaum

In Biblical times, Capernaum thrived as a bustling trading hub in the Gennesaret area, teeming with life and commerce. With its strategic location along the Via Maris, a vital trade route linking Damascus and Egypt, Capernaum flourished from the 2nd century BC until the 13th century AD. Despite its prosperity, Capernaum’s late establishment explains its absence from the Old Testament.


map of the galilee region in israel

Capernaum in The New Testament

Capernaum holds a special place in Christian history as the focal point of Jesus’ Galilean Ministry. From his humble birth in Bethlehem to his upbringing in Nazareth and his later preaching in Jerusalem, Jesus’ earthly journey converged upon the shores of the Sea of Galilee. It was here, amidst the bustling fishing village of Capernaum, that Jesus performed numerous miracles and established his base of operations, earning Capernaum the title: “The city of Jesus.” This is where he assembled his inner circle of disciples, including fishermen like Peter, James, and John, along with Matthew the tax collector. From curing the sick to preaching profound sermons, Capernaum witnessed the transformative power of Jesus’ teachings.


sea of galilee israel

Visiting Capernaum

For those traveling to Israel on a journey to explore its religious sites and historical wonders, a visit to Capernaum is a must. While touring Capernaum independently or with a group tour is feasible, the best experience by far is to visit Capernaum on a private day trip to the Galilee region. By traveling with a dedicated driver you enjoy unparalleled convenience and flexibility. You can tailor your itinerary to your own preferences and spend as much time as you want at each location. This way you do not have to worry about transportation logistics or time constraints of group schedules. You can also skip unnecessary stops at shopping venues and seize the opportunity to explore other nearby sites like the Mount of Beatitudes, the Church of Multiplication in Tabgha, and “Yardenit” the baptismal site on the Jordan River. All these sites are within easy reach in a single day and definitely worth a visit.

The Ancient Synagogue

At the heart of Capernaum lies the ancient synagogue, where Jesus delivered the renowned Sermon on the Bread of Life. Although the exact dating of the synagogue remains debated, its significance in Christian history is undisputed. The original synagogue was destroyed and later replaced around 200 AD. The remaining structure consists of one complete wall, remnants of the other walls, and several columns. Unlike the typical black basalt rock used in other buildings in Capernaum, this synagogue is constructed of white stone. Despite its age and weathering, traces of stucco work, frescoes, and intricate motif carvings are still visible on the walls. Additionally, inscriptions in Greek and Aramaic adorn the synagogue, commemorating its benefactors.


The Church and House of Peter

Archaeologists have unearthed an early Christian dwelling believed to be the house of Peter, a prominent disciple of Jesus. This site holds immense religious significance, as it was where Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law and performed other miracles. Over time, this humble dwelling evolved into a place of worship, and after Jesus’ death the home became a place of worship. A 5th-century octagonal church was built over the house to preserve this sacred space. Today, a modern hexagonal Franciscan church stands on the site, with a captivating glass floor allowing visitors to peer into the ancient remains below.

Kfar Nahum

Modern-day Kfar Nahum serves as a testament to Capernaum’s enduring legacy, housing a Franciscan monastery and a Greek Orthodox church. Visitors can explore the ruins of ancient stone homes and immerse themselves in the tranquility of this sacred site, resonating with echoes of the past.

Exploring the Surrounding Area

Capernaum sits majestically beside the Sea of Galilee, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes. For visitors planning their day trip itinerary, there are plenty of activities and attractions to choose from. Consider visiting Nazareth, Jesus’ childhood home, discover the sacred ambiance of Tabgha, the site of the miracle of multiplying the loaves and fishes, or find serenity at the Mount of Beatitudes, the site of the Sermon on the Mount. A stroll along the lakeside promenade of nearby Tiberias unveils its ancient history and vibrant culture, with remnants of Roman and Ottoman architecture and bustling markets. For a spiritual experience, head to Yardenit baptismal site on the Jordan River. Adventure seekers can enjoy sailing on the Sea of Galilee and hiking trails through lush landscapes. The Galilee region promises an unforgettable experience for travelers, blending spiritual enlightenment, cultural immersion, and outdoor adventures.


Capernaum is more than just an archaeological site. It is a bridge connecting the past to the present, drawing pilgrims and travelers from around the globe to embark on a journey of discovery and faith. With its storied past and vibrant present, this ancient village continues to inspire awe and reverence. As you walk through its storied streets and ancient ruins, may you find solace, inspiration, and a deeper connection to the wisdom of Jesus. May the legacy of Capernaum continue to illuminate the path of faith for generations to come.


moshe barak

About The Author

Moshe Barak is a highly knowledgeable and reputable private taxi service operator in Israel, renowned for his professional approach, friendly attitude, and attention to details.
With over 20 years of experience and a long list of satisfied customers he is the trusted choice by many international travelers seeking reliable transportation with a personal touch during their trip to Israel.

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