Meet Kfar Nahum (Capernaum) National Park
National park and remains of a fishing village from the time of the Second Temple, on a site that was the focus of Jesus’ Galilee ministry.
Points of interest
The synagogue that visitors see today was in use during the Byzantine period. An earlier synagogue also stood here; scholars are divided over whether it was built in the third or the fourth century CE.
A very exciting site for Christian pilgrims is one that started out in the first century CE as a dwelling. The floor of one of the rooms was covered with white plaster and its walls were adorned with plaster painted with geometric patterns and colorful flowers. Apparently as early as the first century the building served as a gathering place for the first Christians (Judeo-Christians). Discovered at the site were 173 plaster fragments bearing inscriptions, mostly in Greek. Some, like “our Lord”, “the Nazarene”, “the greatest of all” and “Simon”, attest to the existence of a Christian community.
In the fourth century the assembly room in the private dwelling became a small public structure. In the middle of the fifth century the site was leveled and an octagonal church was built on top, with the original room right in the center. A larger octagon was built around the inner one, with a mosaic floor bearing floral decorations. Christian pilgrims of the sixth century mention the church, noting that it was built over the house of the Apostle Peter. A modern church stands over the site today.
The main area of the national park, which covers approximately 80 dunams (20 acres), is northeast of the antiquities site. The INPA has prepared the area to assist and complement the visit to the antiquities. The national park will become part of the new promenade, 3.5 km long, which connects Capernaum and Ein Sheva (Tabgha).
A dock has been built near the antiquities site, which allows visitors to sail to Capernaum from Tiberias and Ein Gev. Because the level of the lake changes frequently, the dock has been constructed to rise and fall with the water level.
An information booth is now being established at the national park, with a souvenir shop, toilets, a restaurant and a snack-bar. A fishing village and artists’ village are also planned, where daily life in Second Temple times will be recreated.
Kfar Nahum (Capernaum) National ParkUseful Information
Entrance to the park closes one hour before cited closing timeSummer hours: Sunday–Thursday and Saturday: 16:00 - 08:00 Friday and holiday eves: 15:00 - 13:00 Winter hours: Sunday–Thursday and Saturday: 16:00 - 08:00 Friday and holiday eves: 15:00 - 08:00 Holiday eves: 13:00 - 08:00 Yom Kippur eve: 13:00 - 08:00
Capernaum is on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee. At Capernaum junction on the Tiberias-Rosh Pina road (no. 90), turn east to road 87 and drive 4 km. Capernaum can also be reached from the eastern side of the lake, via road 92.