Tiberias Israel is one of the most popular resort cities in the Middle East. Located on the Sea of Galilee, Tiberias tourism includes pilgrimage sites for both the Christian and Jewish faiths, and is now a center for Jewish learning. Today, Tiberias is a lively city with many modern hotels and conveniences for visitors, a beautiful waterfront, and ancient mosques, churches, synagogues, and other historic buildings.
Tiberias was built in ancient times by Herod Antipas, successor to Herod the Great, who built the fortress at Masada, and under the patronage of the Herods became such an important city that the Sea of Galilee was sometimes called the Sea of Tiberias in those days. Also known as Lake Kinneret, it is the place where Jesus appeared to his disciples walking on water during a storm. The shores of the lake are also where Jesus spent much his time teaching, preaching, and performing miracles.
Tiberias travel should definitely include a visit to this beautiful blue lake, and travelers can cycle around its 35-mile (55-kilometer) perimeter and enjoy the view, stopping to swim in the water or sun themselves on the beach. Boating is also available from the marina by the sea, and the promenade on the shore is lined with restaurants specializing in tasty seafood, as well as many beachfront hotels. Tiberias is also an important fishing center, and it is interesting while doing Tiberias travel to examine the freshly caught wares at the fish market.
Many of the ancient and medieval buildings in Tiberias were destroyed in various floods and earthquakes that have devastated the city in the past. Nevertheless, some old churches, mosques, and synagogues have survived and have been carefully preserved, greatly enriching Tiberias tourism. The Old City in Tiberias Israel contains several old buildings, including the Etz Chaim Synagogue or Abulafia Synagogue dating from the mid-1700s and the Karlin-Stolin Synagogue built in the mid 1800s. There are also two Ottoman-era mosques that are no longer in use but have been restored.
The residential houses in the Old City are built with characteristic black basalt quarried locally, with white limestone windows and trim. The city fortress, built in Ottoman times, can be viewed as well as remnants of the city wall. The Church of St Peter is a popular site here as well for Tiberias tourism—it was built on the remains of a Crusader church and features stained glass windows and a statue of St Peter brought there from Rome in the 1800s. Many other churches have been built around the city.
Tiberias was established as a Jewish center of learning in the 1800s by several prominent rabbis, and it has been important in the Jewish religion for centuries. It was the last place where the Sanhedrin, the Jewish Court, met, when it fled Jerusalem after the Great Jewish Revolt against Rome. Several famous rabbis are buried in Tiberias Israel, including the sage Maimonides, making Tiberias travel popular for many Jews on pilgrimage.
Not far from Tiberias, the Jordan River flows out of the Sea of Galilee and those who travel to Tiberias can also see the site at the Jordan River where it is said that John the Baptist baptized Jesus. Kayaking is also available on the river. Close to the city is also the Mount of the Beatitudes, the purported site of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. South of the city, various hot springs, popular for 2,000 years, feed spas where tourists can relax in a hot bath.
With such an array of attractions, from the natural beauty of the Sea of Galilee to the many churches and religious sites, Tiberias is one of the most worthwhile cities to see on your vacation in Israel. Travelers seeking a laid-back destination after time in Jerusalem and lively Tel Aviv are sure to find this city a perfect place stay during a journey to the Holy Land.