Discover the Wonders of Galilee in Israel

Middle East - Editor - 17 December 2007

Discover the Wonders of Galilee in Israel

The region of Galilee and the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel hold special significance for Christians world-wide. Galilee is where Jesus spent a large part of his life while on earth, carrying out his ministry and performing many miracles. In addition to the enormous historical and religious value of Galilee, it is a place of great natural beauty, with the valleys and slopes becoming a colorful tapestry of blossoming trees and wildflowers in the spring. The fertile land is the site of the majority of Israel’s kibbutz (collective farms) which have breathed life back into an area that by the early 1800s, due to man-made conflicts, had almost been abandoned.

The Sea of Galilee (also known as the Sea of Tiberius) is one of the most picturesque areas in Israel. Fed by underground springs and the Jordan River, located about 700 feet below sea level and with a circumference of more than 32 miles, the Sea of Galilee is Israel’s largest freshwater lake. It also serves as Israel’s major water source. The shoreline is scattered with beaches, historic sites and farms. The Sea of Galilee is filled with carp, sardines and mullet, as well as chichlid, which is served at restaurants as “St. Peter’s Fish” – a reference to one of the fishermen disciples of Jesus.

Historically, Tiberias was one of the most important cities in the area, and the same is true today. There are many places of interest to visit in this popular tourist destination, which offers a warm climate, hot mineral springs, beaches, large hotels and stunning scenery. Noteworthy historical landmarks include the old town walls, the Roman court of law, a synagogue, the remains of a Roman basilica, the column-lined main street, a bath-house and the marketplace. About a mile south of the city center of Tiberius is the Hammath-Tiberias National Park that serves to preserve the ruins of the ancient Jewish town of Hammath surrounded by a landscaped garden. The ruins feature several layers of ancient synagogues which were built one on top of the other. Beautiful examples of mosaic work are on display. The famous hot-springs of Tiberias, which have been visited for over 3,000 years for its curative powers, continue to attract many visitors.

There are numerous interesting places to visit throughout region of Galilee and tourists are made to feel welcome wherever they go. Many guided tours are available to ensure that visitors are given to opportunity to get the most out of their time spent in this incredible part of Israel.

 



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