House of St. Peter
The House of St. Peter is where Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law after attending Sabbath services, as described in the books of Matthew and Mark. Located in the small fishing and farming village of Capernaum in the Galilee, St. Peter's house has been a favorite destination of Holy Land tours since Christian pilgrims first began traveling to Israel.
The House of St. Peter was built in the first century BC. It was an extremely modest home, similar in style to many others that have been excavated nearby. Over time, more than 130 inscriptions of Jesus and Peter’s names, crosses, blessings and names of pilgrims who traveled this way in the distant past have been discovered. These testimonies distinguish the House of St. Peter from the others and have also helped archaeologists to determine where the earliest Christian worship in Capernaum took place.
At the site today, visitors will see the Catholic Church of St. Peter’s House, built in the 1980s on the ruins of older churches. One of the ancient structures standing here is a Byzantine church from the 5th century, built with St. Peter’s original house as its centerpiece. Like the previous church from the Byzantine period, the current Church of St. Peter’s House is octagonal in shape. Visitors touring the site will note many Sea of Galilee-themed decorative touches, such as fish, waves and fishing nets – as well as illustrations of scenes from the life of St. Peter.
The red-domed Greek Orthodox church of Capernaum is visible to the north. Pilgrims will have to content themselves with viewing this structure from a distance – visits to Greek Orthodox church are not possible, since the church is inhabited by a contemplative order of monks.