Capernaum (Kfar Nachum in Hebrew) is mentioned in the New Testament as the place where Jesus lived during his ministry in the Galilee and where he performed several miracles.
In 1838, an American explorer discovered the ruins of this deserted town. At the beginning of the 20th century more excavations uncovered a church and a synagogue.
In 1968, the Franciscans restarted excavation work and restored the church and the synagogue. Their excavations revealed a house which is thought to have belonged to the Apostle Peter. The building became a meeting place for the first Christians. Archaeologists found there over a hundred fragments of plaster with inscriptions in Greek, Aramaic, Syrian, and Latin, including the names of Jesus, Peter and also Christian symbols.
Later, a large octagonal church was built around St. Peter's House. It has the only mosaic floor found in Capernaum and you can still see part of it today. In the 1990s the Franciscans built a modern church on the site with a glass floor in the center so you can see the original church below.
The synagogue is near to the church and is made of white limestone rock taken from the Galilee hills, unlike the other buildings which used local basalt rock. Historians believe it was built in the Byzantine period, although they are divided about the date. It is thought to have been rebuilt on the same site as the synagogue mentioned in the New Testament.
TIP! Take a boat ride to the antiquities site across the Sea of Galilee from Tiberias or Ein Gev.
Other Christian Sites in the area: