Jesus' first stay in Capernaum with his relatives and early disciples
|12After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples: and they continued there not many days.
Capernaum, the center of Jesus’ ministry, is no longer inhabited. Although abandoned after the Islamic conquest of the seventh century, the earthquake of 747 A.D. left the town desolate, and only remains are left. It was once a thriving town on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. As you pass the vibrant colors of the bougainvillea, eucalyptus and palm trees at the entrance, you are reminded of the fertility of the soil and the mild climate.
Only part of the city lies within the walls of the Franciscan compound. To the east of the walls is another part of the city owned by the Greek Orthodox Church. Most of the city in which Jesus ministered lies unexcavated, eastward along the shore and northward toward the hills. You can see black basalt stones in the fields, indicating the remains of buildings below the soil. This lovely village, with its white limestone synagogue and black basalt houses, gives evidence of its prosperity over several centuries.