Kursi National Park
Even if you have already visited Kursi for its religious significance, the Kursi National Park has another fascinating appeal. This national park is dedicated to some of the most fascinating archeological findings in the area. Take a look at what you’ll discover in the area.
Fascinating Architectural Finds
Visitors can marvel at the remnants of an actual Byzantine era church along with fragments of a monastery from the same time period. Tourists can also enjoy the beautiful mosaics that were preserved from the Byzantine period. The mosaics were part of the larger church floor and depict a variety of animals including geese, doves, fish, and cockerels. Additionally, art connoisseurs can recognize fruit trees within the mosaics such as figs, pomegranates, and grapevines. Also, visit the remains of an ancient bathhouse just to the north of the excavated church.
Historical and Religiously Significant Events
Kursi is a well-known area in Christian lore. That's because it is believed to be the location where the Miracle of the Swine took place. For those of you who don't know the New Testament stories, the Miracle of the Swine was an episode in which Jesus successfully exorcised demon spirits out of the bodies (or body depending on which version of the story you are reading) of a possessed villager. Jesus directed the evil spirits into a herd of swine in the area, and according to the legend, the pigs raced madly into the lake situated below and drowned.
The Holy Rock
No apparent significance can be found for the Holy Rock in liturgy, but it was uncovered in 1980 and has become a mainstay of the area ever since. From the Holy Rock, tourists can see clear views of the lovely Sea of Galilee, the enchanting Galilean hills, and the Samakh River Valley.
The Enchanted Bench
While this interesting bit of tourism doesn’t have any solid historical sources backing up its presence, some people swear by this spot. The Enchanted Bench is told to contain mystical properties that can heal those who rest upon it. This simple wooden bench is unassuming, but even if you don’t believe the tradition, it’s a comfortable place to rest your feet mid-day.
From fabulous archeological finds to religious matter, Kursi National Park is a must-see spot for any tourist visiting Israel this year.