Tourist Attractions

Domus Galilaeae in Wikipedia

Domus Galilaeae or House of Galilee (Hebrew: בית הגליל‎), located on the peak of Mount of Beatitudes, above and north of Capernaum and the Sea of Galilee, is a modern Christian meeting place, primarily used for Christian seminars and conventions. Run by the Neocatechumenal Way, Domus Galilaeae employs about 150 persons full time, including laborers, technicians, and volunteers. There are 37 Arab Christian workers, 32 Arab Muslims, 20 Druzes, 10 Maronites, and 21 Hebrew technicians. [1] It has a number of meeting rooms, prayer halls, gardens and a library. Its architectural design, its arts, and the spirit of the place makes it a unique site and a recommended stop for travelers in the area. History -- The building was constructed in a short period of time with the first stone being laid in January 1999 and the opening of the site taking place in 2000. It was inaugurated by the Pope John Paul II in his Millennium visit to the Holy Land. The library was constructed in 2005.

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Cave of Elijah in Wikipedia

The Cave of Elijah is a cave in which the biblical Elijah sought shelter on his journey in the wilderness. Elijah the Prophet of Yahweh traveled, for 40 days and 40 nights into the Wilderness of Sin, to Mount Horeb, the original mountain where Moses saw the burning bush and where the Israelites made a covenant with God. Upon reaching the Mountain, he sought shelter in a cave. God again spoke to Elijah (1 Kings 19:9 ): "What doest thou here, Elijah?". Elijah did not give a direct answer to the LORD's question but evades and equivocates, implying that the work the LORD had begun centuries earlier had now come to nothing, and that his own work was fruitless. Unlike Moses, who tried to defend Israel when they sinned with the golden calf, Elijah bitterly complains over the Israelites' unfaithfulness and says he is the "only one left". Up until this time Elijah has only the word of God to guide him, but now he is told to go outside the cave and "stand before the Lord." A terrible wind passes, but God was not in the wind. A great earthquake shook the mountain, but God was not in the earthquake. Then a fire passes the mountain, but God was not in the fire. Then a "still small voice" comes to Elijah and asks again, "What doest thou here, Elijah?" Elijah again evades the question and his lament is unrevised, showing that he did not understand the importance of the divine revelation he had just witnesed. God then sends him out again, this time to Damascus to anoint Hazael as king of Syria, Jehu as king of Israel, and Elisha as his replacement. Mount Horeb is thought to be located in the land of Midian.

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Mary's Well in Wikipedia

Mary’s Well (Arabic: عين العذراء, Ain il-'adra‎, or "The spring of the Virgin Mary") is reputed to be located at the site where the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and announced that she would bear the Son of God - an event known as the Annunciation. Found just below the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation in modern-day Nazareth, the well was positioned over an underground spring that served for centuries as a local watering hole for the Arab villagers. Renovated twice, once in 1967 and once in 2000, the current structure is a symbolic representation of the structure that was once in use. In the New Testament -- The earliest written account that lends credence to a well or spring being the site of the Annunciation comes from the Protoevangelium of James, a non-canonical gospel dating to the second century. The author writes: "And she took the pitcher and went forth to draw water, and behold, a voice said: 'Hail Mary, full of grace, you are blessed among women.'"[1] However, neither the Gospel of Matthew, Gospel of Mark, Gospel of Luke nor the Gospel of John mention the drawing of water in their accounts of the Annunciation. Similarly, the Koran records a spirit visiting a chaste Mary to inform her that the Lord has granted her a son to bear, without referencing the drawing of water. Through history -- An underground spring in Nazareth traditionally served as the city’s main water source for several centuries, possibly millennia; however, it was not always referred to as "Mary's well" or "Mary's spring". According to the Rosicrucian Forum (1935), before the Christian era, it was known as the "spring of the guard house", so named because the few houses located by it at the time housed a number of local guards who patrolled an important highway that passed by the well.[2] In his book, The Bible as History, Werner Keller writes that "Mary's Well" or "Ain Maryam", as the locals called it, had been so named since "time immemorial" and that it provided the only water supply in the area.[3] William Rae Wilson also describes "a well of the Virgin, which supplied the inhabitants of Nazareth with water" in his book, Travels in Egypt and the Holy Land (1824). [4] James Finn, then British Consul in Jerusalem, visited Nazareth in late June 1853 and his company pitched their tents near the fountain, - the only fountain there. He writes that "the water at this spring was very deficient this summer season, yielding only a petty trickling to the anxious inhabitants. All night long the women were there with their jars, chattering, laughing, or scolding in competition for their turns. [ ] It suggested a strange current of ideas to overhear pert damsels using the name of Miriam (Mary), in jest and laughter at the fountain of Nazareth"[5] While the current structure referred to as Mary's Well is a non-functional reconstruction inaugurated as part of the Nazareth 2000 celebrations,[6] the traditional Mary's Well was a local watering hole, with an overground stone structure. Through the centuries, villagers would gather here to fill water pitchers (up until 1966) or otherwise congregate to relax and exchange news.[7] At another area not too far off, which tapped into the same water source, shepherds and others with domesticated animals would bring their herds to drink. The Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation, located a little further up the hill from the current site of Mary's Well, is a Byzantine era church built over the spring in 3CE, based on the belief that the Annunciation took place at the site. The Catholic Church believes the Annuciation to have take place less than 0.5km away at the Basilica of the Annunciation, a now modern structure which houses an older church inside of it that dates from 4CE. Recent Archaeological Discoveries -- Excavations by Yardenna Alexandre and Butrus Hanna of the Israel Antiquities Authority in 1997-98 - sponsored by the Nazareth Municipality and the Government Tourist Corporation - discovered a series of underground water systems and suggested that the site today known as Mary’s Well served as Nazareth's main water supply from as early as Byzantine times. Despite having found Roman era potsherds, Alexandre's report claimed hard evidence of Roman-era use of the site was lacking. [8] Bathhouse -- In the late 1990s, a local Nazareth couple, Elias and Martina Shama, were trying to discover the source of a water leak in their gift shop, Cactus, just in front of Mary’s Well. Digging through the wall, they discovered underground passages that, upon further digging revealed a vast underground complex. A North American research team conducted high-resolution ground penetrating radar (GPR) surveys at a number of locations in and around Mary’s Well in 2004-5 to determine appropriate locations for further digging to be conducted beneath the bathhouse. Samples were collected for radio-carbon dating and the initial data from GPR readings seem to confirm the presence of additional subterranean structures. [9] In 2003, archaeologist Richard Freund stated his belief that the site was clearly of Roman-era origins: ""I am sure that what we have here is a bathhouse from the time of Jesus," he says, "and the consequences of that for archaeology, and for our knowledge of the life of Jesus, are enormous."[10] Carbon 14 dating was done on 3 samples of charcoal, each was found to come from a very different time period, indicating the bath house had been used in multiple periods, and at least was used sometime between 1300-1400, although with only 3 samples dated, it is possible for the bath house to be older.[11]

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Mary’s Tomb in Wikipedia

Mary's Tomb is a tomb located in the Kidron Valley, on the foothills of Mount of Olives, near the Church of All Nations and Gethsemane garden, originally just outside Jerusalem. It is regarded as the burial place of Mary, the mother of Jesus by most Eastern Christians (many of whom refer to her as Theotokos)[1][2], in contradistinction to the House of the Virgin Mary near Ephesus. Her remains are not in the tomb though as it is believed that she was assumed bodily into heaven. History -- Repairs necessitated by a flood in 1972 afforded the opportunity for archaeological investigation of the site. Bellarmino Bagatti, a franciscan friar and controversial[3] archaeologist, performed the excavation, and found evidence of an ancient cemetery, which he dated to the 1st century; his findings have not yet been subject to peer review by the wider archaeological community, and the validity of his dating has not been fully assessed. Bagatti interpreted the remains to indicate that the cemetery's initial structure consisted of three chambers (the actual tomb being the inner chamber of the whole complex), was adjudged in accordance with the customs of that period. Later, the tomb interpreted by the local Christians to be that of Mary's was isolated from the rest of the necropolis, by cutting the surrounding rock face away from it. An edicule was built on the tomb[4]. A small upper church on an octagonal footing was built by Patriarch Juvenal (during Marcian's rule) over the location in the 5th century, and was destroyed in the Persian invasion of 614. During the following centuries the church was destroyed and rebuilt many times, but the crypt was left untouched, as for the Muslims it is the burial place of the mother of prophet Isa. It was rebuilt then in 1130 by the Crusaders, who installed a walled Benedictine monastery, the Abbey of St. Mary of the Valley of Jehoshaphat. The monastic complex included early Gothic columns, red-on-green frescoes, and three towers for protection. The staircase and entrance were also part of the Crusaders' church. This church was destroyed by Saladin in 1187, but the crypt was still respected; all that was left was the south entrance and staircase, the masonry of the upper church being used to build the walls of Jerusalem. In the second half of the 14th century Franciscan friars rebuilt the church once more. Since 1757, it has been owned by the Greek Orthodox Church. The Church -- The evidently empty interior of the sarcophagus. Preceded by a walled courtyard to the south, the cruciform church shielding the tomb has been excavated in an underground rock-cut cave[5] entered by a wide descending stair dating from the 12th century. On the left side of the staircase (towards the west) there is the chapel of Saint Joseph, Mary's husband, while on the right (towards the east) there is the chapel of Mary's parents, Joachim and Anne, holding also the tomb of Queen Melisende of Jerusalem. On the eastern side of the church there is the chapel of Mary's tomb. Altars of the Greeks and Armenians also share the east apse. A niche south of the tomb is a mihrab indicating the direction of Mecca, installed when Muslims had joint rights to the church. On the western side there is a Coptic altar. The Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem is in possession of the shrine, sharing it with the Armenian Apostolic Church. The Syriacs, the Copts, and the Abyssinians have minor rights. Muslims also have a special place for prayer (the mihrab). Tradition -- The Sacred Tradition of Eastern Christianity teaches that the Virgin Mary died a natural death (the Dormition of the Theotokos, the falling asleep) like any human being; that her soul was received by Christ upon death; and that her body was resurrected on the third day after her repose, at which time she was taken up, soul and body, into heaven in anticipation of the general resurrection. Her tomb, according to this teaching, was found empty on the third day. Roman Catholic teaching holds that Mary was "assumed" into heaven in bodily form, the Assumption; the question of whether or not Mary actually underwent physical death remains open in the Catholic view; however, most theologians believe that she did undergo death before her Assumption. A narrative known as the Euthymiaca Historia (written probably by Cyril of Scythopolis in the 5th century) relates how the Emperor Marcian and his wife, Pulcheria, requested the relics of the Virgin Mary from Juvenal, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, while he was attending the Council of Chalcedon (451). According to the account, Juvenal replied that, on the third day after her burial, Mary's tomb was discovered to be empty, only her shroud being preserved in the church of Gethsemane. According to another tradition it was the Cincture of the Virgin Mary which was left behind in the tomb.[6] Authenticity -- The Eastern Orthodox Church acknowledges that Virgin Mary lived in the vicinity of Ephesus, in a place currently known as the House of the Virgin Mary and venerated by Christians and Muslims, but argues that she only stayed there for a few years; this teaching is based on the writings of the Holy Fathers. Although many Christians believe that no information about the end of Mary's life or her burial are provided in the New Testament accounts or early apocrypha, there are actually over 50 apocryphon about Mary's death (or other final fate). The 3rd century Book of John about the Dormition of Mary places her tomb in Gethsemene, as does the 4th century Treatise about the passing of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Breviarius of Jerusalem, a short text written in about AD 395,[7] mentions in that valley the basilica of Holy Mary, which contains her sepulchre. Later, Epiphanius of Salamis, Gregory of Tours, Isidore of Seville, Saint Modest, Sophronius of Jerusalem, German of Constantinople, Andrew of Crete, John of Damascus talk about the tomb being in Jerusalem, and bear witness that this tradition was accepted by all the Churches of East and West.

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Mount of Beatitudes in Wikipedia

The Mount of Beatitudes refers to the hill in northern Israel where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount. Location -- The traditional location for the Mount of Beatitudes is on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee, between Capernaum and Gennesaret (Ginosar). The actual location of the Sermon on the Mount is not certain, but the present site (also known as Mount Eremos) has been commemorated for more than 1600 years. The site is very near Tabgha. Other suggested locations have included the nearby Mount Arbel, or even the Horns of Hattin. Churches at the site -- A Byzantine church was erected near the current site in the 4th century, and it was used until the 7th century. Remains of a cistern and a monastery are still visible. The current Roman Catholic Franciscan chapel was built in 1938. Other -- Pope John Paul II celebrated a Mass at this site in March 2000. The Jesus Trail pilgrimage route connects the Mount to other sites from the life of Jesus. Vasco Nasorri is the italian artist who realised the mosaic installed in the floor in front of the Church in 1984

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Mary`s Tomb

The Tomb of Mary, the mother of Jesus, is marked by one of Jerusalem`s most venerable churches, located in the Kidron Valley, which the at the foot of the Mount of Olives near the Garden of Gethsemane. Christians built the first house of prayer here 1,500 years ago over a stone crypt visitors can still see. By Crusader times the church had been destroyed, and only a small cupola remained over the tomb. But in 1130 a new church was built, its façade with pointed Gothic arches, and most of the interior has amazingly survived frequent flooding of the Kidron Stream. The present decor, with its flickering oil lamps and icons gives the church a feel of mystery and antiquity, and attests to its present congregation of Eastern Christian denominations. Next to the church is a cave which some believe suits the description of Gethsemane in Mark 14:32 and Matthew 26:36. (Israel Minister of Tourism)

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Mukhraka - The Place of Elijah’s Contest on Carmel

They say once you`ve read the Bible where its events actually happened, you`ll never be the same. Nowhere is this truer than on Mount Carmel, at Mukhraka, which means "burned place," where Elijah faced off against the prophets of Baal and God sent down fire from Heaven. (I Kings 18:17-46). From the Carmeli​te Monastery roof or along Carmel`s hiking routes, the story is revealed: surrounding limestone outcroppings are overgrown with lichen, black as the soot from the fire that consumed Elijah`s burnt offering; to the west is the Mediterranean, where Elijah`s servant saw the cloud signaling God`s renewed blessing (I Kings 18:44); to the northeast is more Scripture scenery on the palm of your hand: the Kishon Brook, where Baal`s prophets met their end (I Kings 18:40), winding through the fertile fields of the Jezreel Valley, also known as the Valley of Armageddon. 1 Kings 17:2-7 2 And the word of the Lord came to him, 3 "Depart from here and turn eastward, and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, that is east of the Jordan. 4 You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there." 5 So he went and did according to the word of the Lord; he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith that is east of the Jordan. 6 And the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he drank from the brook. 7 And after a while the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land. (Israel Minister of Tourism)

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Domus Galilaeae

Visitors who enter the Domus Galilaeae center, atop the Mount of Beatitudes overlooking the Sea of Galilee, can immediately feel the power of the inscription in the bright and airy lobby: "The Lord was waiting for you on this mountain." Domus Galilaeae was founded by the Neo-Catechumenal Way, a movement established in the 1960s to lead people to understand Christianity the way the first Christians did, as adults. The new center, where the movement`s members stay on a week-long Holy Land tour following study and spiritual preparation, is rich in symbolism. The chapel has a magnificent painting by the movement`s founder, Kiko Argüello, combining Eastern and Western Christian symbols and paying homage to the Church`s Jewish roots. The uniquely designed library, specializing in books about the Sermon on the Mount, has a Torah scroll as its centerpiece. Domus Galilaeae invites visitors of all denominations to tour the center and learn more about the movement. (Israel Minister of Tourism)

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