Search
Close this search box.

Church of the Transfiguration

christian destinations in Israel

So the Church of the Transfiguration is a Franciscan church on Mount Tabor. In addition, it is traditionally believed to be the site where the Transfiguration of Jesus took place, an event in the Gospels in which Jesus is transfigured upon an unnamed mountain and speaks with Moses and Elijah. The current church, part of a Franciscan monastery complex, was completed in 1924.



Furthermore, the architect was Antonio Barluzzi. It was built on the ruins of an ancient (4th–6th-century) Byzantine church and a 12th-century church of the Crusader Kingdom period. A Greek Orthodox church is also located on Mount Tabor, dedicated to the same purpose.


Most Beautiful Churches in Israel

The Architecture of the Church of the Transfiguration

So, the church contains three grottoes belonging to the Crusader church. They were described by Jonas Korte, a publisher from Eldena, as “three chapels, with a small altar. They are called tabernacles, and they are said to represent the three huts which Peter desired to build, one for his Master (Jesus), the other two for Moses and Elias (Elijah)”.

In addition, the Grotto of Christ is in the eastern part of the church. Steps lead down to a lower level containing a sanctuary roofed with a modern vault.



There is a chapel in each of the two towers at the western end of the church. The Chapel of Elijah is located in the south tower; the north tower holds the Chapel of Moses.

In the upper part of the church, there is a mosaic on a gold ground representing the Transfiguration. On August 6, the “day of the Transfiguration” in some church calendars, the sun strikes a glass plate set into the floor to briefly illuminate the golden mosaic.


Famous Churches in Israel

Barluzzi has created a roof built of alabaster panels, meant to let in as much light as possible in accordance to the biblical event celebrated here. However, the alabaster roof could not be made watertight and had to be covered over with a common, non-translucent roof.

A Little About the Transfiguration of Jesus

The Transfiguration of Jesus is an event reported by the Synoptic Gospels in which Jesus is transfigured upon a mountain (Matthew 17:1–9, Mark 9:2–8, Luke 9:28–36). Jesus becomes radiant, speaks with Moses and Elijah, and is called “Son” by God. The transfiguration put Jesus above Moses and Elijah, the two preeminent figures of Judaism.



Several mountains have been identified as the site of the Transfiguration; for example, the tallest mountain in Israel, Mount Hermon. Mount Tabor is closer to the center of Jesus’s activities; therefore, Bishop Cyril of Jerusalem wrote in 348 that he preferred Mount Tabor to Mount Hermon. Thus, Mount Tabor was accepted as the site of the transfiguration of Christ.

arik-about

Hi! My name is Arik, an Israeli native who dedicated his life to sharing my passion for the Holy Land with those interested in knowing more about this incredible piece of land. I’m the Chief Guide at ‘APT Private Tours in Israel’.

Did you know the Hoopoe is Israel's national bird?! For more cool info about Israel, join our ever growing community and get exclusive travel tips, and giveaways!

Beit Shean National Park

RELATED POSTS

The Prehistoric Man Museum

The Prehistoric Man Museum is a museum that explores the prehistoric age. The museum showcases historical artifacts found in the region.

Rehovot

Reḥovot is a vibrant city on the coastal plain in central Israel and the heart of the country’s most productive citrus belt. The town was ...

Yemin Moshe

Yemin Moshe is a historic neighborhood overlooking the Old City, Jerusalem. It's ideal for a peaceful break between sightseeing adventures!

Mount Gerizim

Mount Gerizim is the holiest mountain for the Samaritans. They see Mount Gerizim as the holy place chosen by God Not Temple Mt. in Jerusalem

Ancient Bethel

Bethel is a town north of Jerusalem that is believed to be one of the first places in the Bible where the Hebrew people met ...

Tomb of Lazarus

The Tomb of Lazarus in Bethany, is a site deeply intertwined with the biblical narrative and holds great significance for Christians.

Bethsaida National Park

Bethsaida is an archaeological site on the Sea of Galilee. An ancient city where it told Peter and Andrew came from. Don't miss it!

Cave of the Patriarchs

Tradition says that the Cave of the Patriarchs is the resting place of Adam & Eve; Abraham and Sarah; Isaac and Rebecca, and Jacob and ...

The Burnt House

The Burnt House Museum presents an excavated house from the Second Temple period situated below current street level in Jerusalem.

Church of the Flagellation

The Church of the Flagellation is believed to be where the Roman soldiers flogged Jesus after he was sentenced to death.

Need help?

Skip to content