Capernaum is a fascinating area teeming with archeological sites, natural
landscapes and wondrous churches. After Jerusalem it is the most widely mentioned town in the New Testament; it was the hub of important
activity and the starting-point for Jesus’ ministry in the Galilee. While in
Capernaum, which is referred to as Jesus’ “own town” (Matthew 9:1), Jesus
frequented the synagogue (John 6), went into people’s homes (Matthew
8:14-15), received supplicants from afar (Mark 2:1), and performed many
of his miracles in that very vicinity.
Following Second Temple-era Capernaum was home to a mélange of Jews
and Christians for a few centuries and then gradually abandoned during
the Arab period, and only rediscovered and purchased by the churchesat the end of the 19th century. Excavations revealed Peter’s house where
Jesus also lived, and an enormous synagogue dating from the 4th century.
The Franciscan church that you see today was built over Peter’s house and
the Franciscan there guard the valuable archeological site.
The charming Greek Orthodox Church of the Twelve Apostles is located
in the northern part of the ancient village, adjacent to the Capernaum
National Park with its pier on the Sea of Galilee.