Tiberias is the largest city around the Sea of Galilee. Located on its western shore, its location produces a breathtaking view of the entire Sea of Galilee;
its shores and mountains surround it.
Tiberias was named after the Roman emperor Tiberius who ruled from 14-37 AD.
It was a gift by Antipas the son of King Herod.
The surroundings of Tiberias were well populated throughout the centuries, and it was the center of a large fishing industry, it’s lake waters remarkably rich in fish. Numerous trade routes intersected at the lake (Kinnereth). Of all ancient towns that flourished on its shores only Tiberias still exists today.
Where the Jordan River leaves the Sea of Galilee is the site where tradition claims that John baptized Jesus. Many Christian pilgrims annually visit this holy site to be baptized. The Gospels tell of many episodes having happened there, including the meeting of James, John and Simon, the miraculous Draft of Fish, the Multiplication of the Loaves and the Walking on the Waters.
Tiberias is a holy city in Judaism, one of the most important centers of Jewish studies and culture. After the destruction of the Temple, during the 2nd and 3rd centuries the Sanhedrin (Jewish council) moved to Tiberias.
The Mishnah – The Oral Jewish Law – was completed here.
Today Tiberias is a Jewish pilgrim city; famous Jewish Rabbis as Rabbi Maimonides and Rabbi Akiva are buried there.
A Christian Community also lived in Tiberias throughout the ages.
In the 6th century the Byzantine emperor Justinian, built a wall around the city.
In 1990-93 the remains of a Byzantine church with its
remarkable cultic objects were uncovered.
In 1033 after an earthquake destroyed Tiberias, the Crusaders moved it two kilometers north of the remains of the old Roman Tiberias.
The Crusaders built churches and dedicated one of the churches to
In the 18th century, a local Bedouin Sheik, Dahar al Omar, revolted against the Ottoman rulers of Palestine and set up an independent region in Galilee. Dahar and his son rebuilt Tiberias, enclosed it and constructed a large fort there.
In 1904 Jewish settlement activities started in the Galilee and Tiberias once again became the official center of the region of Galilee.
Today, Tiberias has a population of 35,000. It is visited annually by hundreds of thousands of pilgrims and tourists. The calm climate, the pleasant breeze during the hot season, natural beauty and presence of therapeutic thermal springs has made the place a preferred health and holiday resort.