The Church of the Holy Apostles, or simply the Church of the Apostles is located at Capernaum, standing among the ruins of ancient Capernaum near the shore of the Sea of Galilee. It is sometimes named the Church of the Seven Apostles, based on the seven disciples mentioned in John 21 (John 21:1-2), but it is actually dedicated to all the twelve apostles of Jesus.
The Significance of the Church
The church marks the site of the ancient village of Capernaum, which is an important place in Christianity. The village is frequently mentioned in the Gospels and was Jesus’ main base during his Galilean ministry. It is referred to as Jesus’ own city and a place where he lived. It was in the synagogue of Capernaum where he first started to preach.
Those who claim that the church is dedicated to the seven apostles (or rather five apostles and two more disciples), base it on the Gospel of John, chapter 21. The church is actually dedicated to all twelve apostles, which also makes sense due to the long stay of Jesus and his closest disciples in Capernaum.
The small church carries 12 red domes, and there are stained glass windows that dictate the quality of light in the building. Inside the building is a red marble Iconostasis, and almost all of its walls are decorated with rich murals. For the purpose of these paintings, painters-artists were brought from Greece, and the work is carried out on the site itself or in Greece on canvas, which is then brought to Capernaum and pasted on the walls.
On the roof of the church are two large domes – in one is seen Jesus and around him the prophets of the Old Testament who according to tradition watched his coming, and in the other dome Jesus is seen as an old man adorned with a beard, and around him the saints who preceded Moses. Other topics described in the church are the Madonna and Child, the Crucifixion of Jesus, the Resurrection, and the Last Judgment.