Caesarea Philipi Spring

Caesarea Philipi Spring

A peaceful place to stop for reflection and prayer on a busy Holy Land tour, Caesarea Philippi is the location of one of the largest springs feeding fresh water into the Jordan River. Called the Banias in Hebrew, this spring is located at the base of Mount Hermon, adjacent to the site of an ancient Roman city that was called Caesarea Philipi.

Scripture does not describe Jesus entering the city itself, but he was nearby. This is the area where Jesus asked his disciples who they thought he was, and their various answers, including the Confession of Peter, are recorded in the Synoptic Gospels. Another event that took place in the area was the curing of the woman from Paneas, who had been bleeding for 12 years.

Visitors here will marvel at the archaeological remains at the site, including a shrine to the pagan god Pan and the ruins of the ancient Roman city. The spring emerges from a large cave that subsequently became a pagan shrine; sacrifices were thrown into the cave to appease Pan. Near the cave is a rock with inscriptions dedicated to various pagan gods and to those who donated to the shrine.

Many tours here follow the trails from the cave over the Roman bridge and past the Crusader tower, to the only active water-mill in Israel. Walk through the gatehouse into the ruins of the Crusader town to reach the Banias Waterfall. The waterfall is only 10 meters high, but it is one of the most beautiful falls in Israel. From the observation point, the trail continues down to the pool at the bottom, where you can cool off on a hot day.

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