The area around the Sea of Galilee holds thousands of years of historical, religious; and cultural significance; drawing in millions of visitors each year to learn and explore. Perched on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee; between Capernaum and the Gennesaret archeological site; is the stunning Mount of Beatitudes. Moreover, the lush green vegetation and bright flowers will draw you up the Mount of Beatitudes to the wonderfully constructed church; While the Mount of Beatitudes is an important religious location. But remember! You don’t have to be religious to enjoy the site. So whether you are there to learn about religion; architecture; or culture; everyone who visits will enjoy this site. And I recommend that you join a private tour with me! So that you may learn all of the connections between the history and religion of this remarkable land.
Mount of Beatitudes – One of the Holiest for Christians in Israel
First, the Mount of Beatitudes is considered a holy site to Christian believers as it is the location where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount. The Sermon on the Mount was spoken early in the Ministry of Jesus; after Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist and made his way to the Galilee. The Sermon on the Mount is the longest continuous discourse found in the New Testament and is most quoted in the Canonical Gospels. Within the sermon is some of the best teachings of Jesus, and it also includes the well-known Lord’s Prayer. Also as you stand on the Mount of Beatitudes, you can imagine what it would have been like for the villagers to be huddled in masses, staring up reverently at Jesus as he spoke God’s message. It must have been incredibly moving and memorable to have created such a large religious following!
The Church of Beatitudes
Perched on the mount is the Church of Beatitudes. Built in 1938, the church was designed by Italian architect Antonio Barluzzi and financed partly by Benito Mussolini. The church is a stunning architectural masterpiece in an octagonal shape and designed to blend into the surrounding environment. So why an octagonal, you ask? Because each of the eight sides of the church represents one of Jesus’ blessings, also called beatitudes.
Moreover, within each wall is a beautiful stained-glass window with each blessing recited. And the church’s central altar is beautiful in its own right as well; made of alabaster and onyx; In fact, it is surrounded by the seven virtues on the gorgeous mosaic floor. As you quietly wander around the church; there are endless little details to notice, and it is easy to see how much love, faith, and hope went into the creation of this house of worship.