Capharnaum

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Now an archaeological park, Capharnaum was a fishing village of the Hasmonean period between 140 BC and 116BC and its located on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee.

The layout of the village was quite regular with small districts bordered by small cross sectional streets. The houses were constructed with good quality mortar and the walls with basalt blocks!

The village remains here are protected well and its spectacular! The village is now called as the Fisher’s Village. One of the houses in this village is believed to be that of St Peter. A church is build over it. Archaeological excavations have also revealed two ancient synagogues built one over the other!

All these archaeological sites stand quite close to each other and near the shore of Galilee……

The Synagogue

 

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The interior of the ancient synagogue.

This ruined, but now well protected building, is among the oldest Jewish synagogues in the world! It’s huge and ornately carved. It stands on an elevated position and is build of imported white limestone.

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The synagogue appears to have been built around the 4th or 5th century. But beneath this white stone building, there is a layer of local black basalt blocks which is said to be the foundation of another Synagogue from the 1st Century ,i.e., from the time of Jesus! In Bible, a synagogue in Capharnaum is mentioned now and then. So, this must’ve been the place where Jesus taught and healed the sick. This thought crossed my mind as I was in this synagogue and it gave me trills!!

 

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Two main pillars containing inscriptions…

There are two inscriptions in the synagogue. One in Greek and the other in Aramaic.

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An inscription in one of the pillars….
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The beauty of the pillar architecture is praiseworthy…
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Inside the Synagogue

This building was identified by Charles William Wilson, a British military officer and geographer of the 19th century. In 1926,the restoration of the synagogue began.

The building has a great beauty and status!

Fisher’s Village

In contrast with the synagogue white stones, the village remains are made of local black basalt. The village remains dates back to the time of the Roman invasion even before the birth of Jesus.

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The village remains between the Synagogue and the Church…

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Excavated ruins….
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The remains of the Byzantine villages behind the Synagogue…..
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The Byzantine village remains.

 

St Peter’s House

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After the excavations done here in 1984, an octagonal church like remains was found and after further research, it was concluded that the area within it was the house of St Peter. St Peter (Simon Bar-Yohan) is one of the twelve disciples of Christ and he is the first Pope of the Catholic Church. Later during the 1990s, a modern church of octagonal shape was build above it.

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The church interior with the octagonal glass window in the middle

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There are mosaics within having geometric patterns. There is a central octagonal glass window in the church that enshrines the venerated room from Peter’s house. I walked up to the main floor and viewed this historical site.

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The view of remains though the octagonal glass window

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The Church has full-length windows on the eight sides of it through which one could have a complete view of the lovely countryside and the sea. The use of wall and ceiling coverings in white stone is splendid!

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A statue of St Peter outside the church

 

 

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Shilu Gomez says:

    Its really great to know about this ancient city,, it was a useful information .This article really gave a complete sight of the area,hope more of this type.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ashitha Mary Christopher says:

      Thank you….
      More posts on the way……

      Like

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