Mysteries of Israel | Christian tours Galilee

Christian tours Galilee

 
Christian tours of the Galilee - one day excursions upon request

These tours can be done together as a 4-5 day tour, passing through the various Christian sites in the Galilee and meeting with monks, nuns, priests, and local community members.

 

1. Nazareth – flower of the Galilee and Mount Tabor
We will show you Nazareth in a way most tourists rarely experience. You will get to meet the local people, discover the meaning in the architecture and art of the Annunciation Basilica, walk the markets and streets, and visit some undiscovered sites.

We start our tour by visiting the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation, which is built over the small city water spring; from there we will walk the streets and markets to the incredible Catholic Church of the Annunciation. On our way we will see a Russian complex, the White Mosque, the Synagogue Church, ancient cellars and artistic 19th century houses. The Annunciation Basilica was built as a temple for Marian worship in the church and as an answer to the feminist movement of the ‘60s. It was built by the joint effort of Christian communities from all over the world, and contains works of art that express the different aspects and mysteries of the Christian faith. We will spend at least an hour or two to delve deeply into the meaning of the building’s art and architecture, before continuing on to St Joseph’s Basilica nearby. After a traditional meal in the home of a local resident, we will finish our tour by driving to Mount Tabor, where the miracle of the transfiguration happened. We will visit the beautiful basilica and walk through the forests that surround the summit to capture the way it felt 2,000 years ago, when Jesus walked here.

 

2. The way to blessedness - In the footsteps of Jesus in the Sea of Galilee
For 3 years, Jesus lived and preached in Kfar Nahum, where he gave his most important sermon on a nearby mountain. We will start our tour in the Mount of Beatitude, where Jesus gave his Sermon of the Mount; from there we will enjoy a short and pleasant nature walk to the Valley of Tabha. First we will visit the place where Jesus made the Miracle of the Five Loaves and Two Fish. Benedictine monks maintain the basilica, which is an exact replica of the Byzantine basilica that once existed on this site. We will try to meet them and hear about their life. The second place we will visit is the Church of the Supremacy of Peter, an important site for Catholics, where Jesus gave Peter the authority to lead the church. From Tabha we will drive to Kfar Nahum and visit the old synagogue, the Greek Orthodox Church, with its beautiful wall paintings, the house of Peter and other sites.

For the tour’s conclusion we can choose to take a boat tour on the sea, visit the remains of a boat from Jesus’ time, or dine at one of the fish restaurants in the nearby city of Tiberias.

 

3. The spirit of chivalry - The emergence of the Teutonic order
In the 13th century, German knights started a chivalric order that would have an important part to play in the Christianizing of the Baltic States and in the creation of the Prussian military spirit and state. The story of the Teutonic order is a classical story of crusades, knighthood, chivalry, courage, idealism, cruelty, piety and more…

We will visit the first center of the order, the beautiful castle of Monfort (‘beautiful view’ in French), where the grandmaster of the order lived and the treasury and archive was once kept, before being moved to Vienna. The castle of Monfort lies hidden in one of the most beautiful gorges of the Galilee, surrounded by a natural forest. From Monfort castle we will go first to the nearby village of Meilia to visit the castle where the king’s representative lived, and then on to yet another castle - the castle of Gedin – which belonged as well to the Teutonic order.

In between, we will visit the picturesque villages of Meilia (Christian) and Tarshiha (Muslim), enter traditional houses, meet local craftsmen, and visit the churches, mosques and markets that have barely changed since the times of the crusaders. We will discuss the principles and spirit of chivalry and ask the question: Are there any knights in shining armor left today?

 

4. Knights and crusaders in Akko (Templars, Hospitallers)
In the13th century, the port city of Akko became the capital of the crusader kingdom, a thriving metropolis that was the financial and commercial center of the world. Akko was a city of more than 50,000 people, at a time when London and Paris were just large villages. The famous Templar and Hospitaller orders established their headquarters within Akko, where the great marine powers of Venice, Genoa and Pisa also had their living quarters. We will visit this ancient crusader city, which has been proclaimed as a world heritage site. There we will visit the great halls of the knights, the Templars’ secret tunnel, the city fortress and more. We’ll enjoy the oriental city that was built on top of the crusader one, walk the markets and dine in one of the fish restaurants located in the picturesque sea marina that was built upon the remains of the crusader port.

During our tour some of the secrets of the Templars will be revealed. We will also discuss the principles and spirit of chivalry, and ask whether there are any knights in shining armor left today.

 

5. The Carmelites – creation of a new monastic order in Carmel
The 13th century was witness to the creation of yet another monastic order called the Carmelites. It all started in an isolated gorge on the slopes of the mountain where the Prophet Elijah lived.

We will visit the place where the first Carmelite monastic community lived and learn about their rule. We will visit Elijah’s cave, sacred to the 3 religions, and travel by cable car up Mount Carmel, where the order’s mother church, Stella Maris Church, is located. After visiting the church and nearby sacred sites, we will drive through the mountains and nature reserves of Carmel and the rustic Druze villages, on to the mountain of Muhraka, where the Prophet Elijah fought and conquered the idolaters. During our tour we will try to understand how a monastic order is formed, what it means to be part of it, and what is special about the Carmelites. We will relate to the two most famous Carmelite mystics from the 16th century: Teresa of Avilla and St. John of the Cross.

 

Mysteries of Israel | 1-700-50-9992 | 054-4751080 | rhazy@zvia.org.il | office: tarbuyot.olami@gmail.com