Kursi: An Archeological Wonder of Miracles Told
Kursi is a wonderful tourist site in the north of Israel that combines historical significance, religious implications, and beautiful natural surroundings. If you're looking for an extremely interesting and enjoyable day trip, head north for an experience you won't soon forget.
The Archeological Discoveries
Kursi is actually the site of an archeological dig. During the dig, remains from an ancient Christian monastery were found. These ruins were later identified as the location of the Miracle of the Swine. Travel north and head for the Sea of Galilee. Here’s where you’ll find Kursi, nestled on the riverbank in its majestic, seashore beauty.
Today, what remains of the structure is a low standing stone wall, parts of the paved road that led to the harbor, and parts of the bath house and church. In addition, some pictures from the mosaic floors are still visible such as geese, fish, citrons, pomegranates, and doves. There is also an inscription on the mosaic with the year 585 carved out, and an ancient staircase leads to a crypt, though this is off limits to the public. Other remains include a tower, a chapel, and an olive press.
Kursi in Modern Times
The site is now a national park, and the Israeli government does a marvelous job with its upkeep. The area is decorated with a lush array of greenery and beautiful paths. Many tourists visit this area for day hiking, and often people will bring a picnic lunch to enjoy in the pleasant breeze and warm Israeli sun.
In addition to the lovely hiking area, Kursi has many signs and placards to commemorate the monastery and church that were still active throughout the Byzantine Empire. The church and monasteries were destroyed by war, marauders, and a massive earthquake in 749.
Miracle of the Swine
Also referred to as the exorcism of the Gerasene demoniac, the miracle of the swine was a fascinating story of how Jesus performed an exorcism on a man who was said to be possessed by a demon (some sources say Jesus performed two exorcisms during this time and in this area). Jesus transferred the demon spirits into a herd of swine, which promptly dove into a nearby lake to their death. This narrative is referred to several times throughout the scriptures including mentions in Luke, Matthew, and Mark.