Tiberias is an ancient city in the Galilee, located on the western shore of Lake Kinneret (also known as the Sea of Tiberias or the Sea of Galilee). Like Jerusalem, Hebron and Safed, Tiberias is one of the holy cities for the Jews. This is a very picturesque place with narrow and winding streets and old houses made of black basalt, which give the city a special charm.
Every year, many tourists flock to Tiberias to visit national shrines: the tombs of Rambam, Rabbi Johanan Ben-Zakay and Rabbi Akiva; go to nearby Capernaum, where, according to the Gospel, Christ preached, and visit a popular resort. See Andyeducation for education and training in Israel.
The city received its name (Tiberias and the modern Tiberias derived from it) on behalf of the Roman emperor Tiberius. It was founded in 17 AD, and there is still debate whether Jesus Christ visited Tiberias.
How to get there
There is no airport in Tiberias, but it is easy to get here from any major Israeli city. Egged buses run regularly between Tiberias and Tel Aviv (2 hours 20 minutes), Jerusalem (2.5 hours), Haifa (1 hour 9 minutes), Kiryat Shmona (1 hour 5 minutes), Safed (half an hour), Beit She’an (40 minutes) and Afula (53 minutes). You can check the schedule and order a ticket for the desired bus on the Egged website (in Russian).
Around the Sea of Galilee in Tiberias, there is a free bus that takes everyone to the numerous beaches. The bus departs from the central bus station of the city every two hours from 8:00 to 22:00 on weekends and holidays, the route runs along the coast (about 60 km).
Treatment in Tiberias
On the territory of Tiberias there are 17 hot mineral springs with temperatures up to +63 ° C and therapeutic mud. Around all this, the balneological resort complex Hamei-Tiberias was built, and in the vicinity there are many spa centers and spa hotels, thalassotherapy centers and rest houses. Since 1995, rheumatism, neuralgia, and especially respiratory diseases have been successfully treated here, since coniferous forests grow around the lake and the air here is healing in itself.
The city was founded by the son of King Herod the Great (the one who gave the order to “beat the babies”, which is mentioned in the Bible) and made it his residence, and he got his name in honor of the Roman emperor Tiberius. The rulers liked to visit here, because a spring with healing water beat in the vicinity, but the Jews considered these places unclean: the city was built on hidden tombs. However, after the Jewish uprising against the Romans was crushed and Jerusalem was destroyed, the land of Galilee became the center of the Jews. Tiberias was the only city in the entire Roman Empire, the absolute majority of whose population were Jews.
At this time, 13 synagogues were being built in the city, the highest academy was transferred here from the defeated Jerusalem, the local Sanhedrin acquired the status of the highest authority in matters of religion. Jewish sages lived in Tiberias – Amorais and Tannai. Part of the Jerusalem Talmud is also written here.
Entertainment and attractions
Tiberias is one of the four holy cities of Israel; many historical monuments, mostly religious ones, have been preserved here. In addition, this city is rich in natural attractions.
The main city promenade in Tiberias is the Main Boulevard, which leads from the Old City to the center. There are many souvenir shops, cafes, street musicians play, and it is always very noisy and crowded. The famous fish market in the city, where you can buy the freshest fish, is located on this boulevard, and there are also many fish restaurants and falafel restaurants.
In the Old City, which was built up during the Crusades and during the reign of the Ottoman Empire, a fortress of the 18th century has been preserved. Daher el-Amar, Jewish ritual bathing pool and ruins of the city wall.
There are many graves of Jewish sages in Tiberias, all year round pilgrims come to the graves of Rabbi Akiva, Rabbi Yohanan ben Zakai, as well as the philosopher and sage Maimonides (Rambam).
The Franciscan Church is one of the most interesting architectural structures in Tiberias. It was built on the ruins of a crusader church and looks like the hull of an overturned ship. The church is decorated with the symbols of the four Gospels and the saying of Jesus, with which he addressed Peter: “Feed my lambs.” On the stained glass windows you can see images of fish and saints, and in the backyard there is a copy of the statue of Peter, which was brought here from Rome in 1833.
Natural attractions and active recreation
One of the main attractions is the Hamat Tiberias National Park, which is known, firstly, for its healing mineral springs, and secondly, for the remains of ancient synagogues and mosaics, as it was built on the ruins of an ancient city.
Mount Barniki is located above the Roman part of Tiberias. From its top, the best views in the city of the ruins of ancient churches and monasteries, Lake Kinneret and all of Tiberias in general open up.
Lake Kinneret, which is called the Sea of Galilee here, is a very popular holiday destination for both locals and tourists. Believers often visit these places, since it was on the shore of this lake, according to legend, that Jesus read his sermons, healed the sick and resurrected the dead. Today people come here to sunbathe and swim, fish, and a singing fountain beats right from the lake.
In 1976, after a severe storm, a boat was found on the lake, which turned out to be more than 2000 years old. The boat was raised and preserved, and a museum was eventually opened in her honor.
In addition to swimming in the lake, kayaking on the Jordan River, cycling along the lake, as well as boat rental or a group cruise to the city of Ein Gev are popular.
Neighborhood of Tiberias
- Where the Jordan River flows out of the Kinneret, Yardenit is located – a traditional place of baptism in the waters of the sacred river.
- The point of attraction for many tourists, and not only believers, is Capernaum(Kfar Nachum), which is located north of Tiberias, on the northwestern shore of Lake Tiberias. In this place, according to legend, Jesus Christ lived and preached. The Franciscans purchased this site, excavated and explored the city, and then founded their monastery here.
- Not far from Capernaum, on a mountain, there is a Catholic monastery with a temple dedicated to the Beatitudes.