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Mount of Beatitudes

A walk uphill from Tagbha takes one to the Mount of Beatitudes with its breathtaking views over the Sea of Galilee, the Golan Heights and Mount Hermon. This place has been venerated by Christian pilgrims as a holy place for over 1600 years.

With its grassy sloping hills, it was a perfect setting Christ to deliver his sermons to thousands. Some say that Jesus Christ stood at the bottom of the hill with his disciples scattered on the grassy slopes around a natural peaceful amphitheater. In Matthew 5 and Luke 6, Jesus is described as giving his famous Sermon of the Mount from this very place. And it was here that he chose his disciples.

"One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles: Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor." (Luke 6:12-16)

In the fourth century, a Byzantine Church was erected here. It stood for 300 years. Today one can still see its cistern and a monastery. In 1938, a Roman Catholic Franciscan Chapel was built here. Designed by Antonio Barluzzi, the building is filled of numerical symbolism and Christian symbols representing the eight beatitudes. Pastoral gardens with inspiring views complete the setting, making this a perfect spot for meditation and prayer.

The Mount of Beatitudes also overlooks the fertile Plain of Gennaseret. Here, on these very plains, Jesus is recorded as healing the multitudes and this was also the place where he received condemnation by the Pharisees for ritual impurity (Mark 6-7).

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