Tabgha, The Place of Seven Springs

Tabgha, The Place of Seven Springs

Tours of the Holy Land's major Christian landmarks universally involve visits to Tabgha, the site where the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes took place, as well as the fourth resurrection of Jesus.

Start your tour at the Church of Loaves and Fishes, where beautiful mosaics commemorate the miracle of multiplication. It was here that Jesus fed 5000 people with bread and fish. The modern church was built on the foundations of an ancient church, the remains of which can still be viewed today. The restored mosaics depict plants and animals, mostly those native to the Galilee.

The Church of the Primacy of St. Peter commemorates the fourth resurrection and the conferring of preferential authority on St. Peter. This event was interpreted by the Catholic Church as the basis for the authority of the Popes, the successors of Peter. Stained glass and artwork on the walls show various scenes from Bible.

In ancient times, Tabgha was known as Heptapegon, "Place of the Seven Springs." These warm springs attract fish, which make the area a popular one for fishermen. This is apparently the reason that both miracles which took place here involved the consuming of fish.

Also not to be missed is the Church of the Beatitudes, where Jesus delivered his famous Sermon on the Mount. The church is octagonal, representing the eight beatitudes. It is beautifully designed with domes and mosaics. The landscaped gardens and the awe-inspiring views from the mountaintop make this a favorite place for meditation and prayer.

The Benedictine Monastery of Tabgha is open to visitors for prayer or to celebrate the Eucharist. Tours of the monastery are available, as well as lectures about the life of monks in the Holy Land and in Tabgha specifically.

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