According to tradition, Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount on Mount of Beatitudes. And today, we will visit the Church Of The Beatitudes. Let’s begin our visit!
You can see the Mount of Beatitudes just above Tabgha in the top left corner of the Sea of Galilee map.
Interactive map of the area:
If you are driving, then enter “Church of the Beatitudes” into the navigation app. You will be driving along road #90, and then take a turn to road #8177.
If you are using public transport, then you can take bus #450, or #840. Here is the preset link to Moovit. Set the starting point, and you will get the updated directions.
Church Of The Beatitudes is open at 8:00 – 11:45 and 14:00 – 16:45.
During the Holy Thursday, and December 31 the site is open only in the morning.
Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter Sunday, Christmas Day, and January 1 – closed.
The entrance is free, but the parking costs money. Minibus parking is 30 NIS, and 10 NIS for a car.
Note: opening hours and entrance fee were updated in June 2019. In any case, recheck here before visiting.
Mount Of Beatitudes
The traditional location for the Mount of Beatitudes is on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee, between Capernaum and Gennesaret (Ginosar), on the southern slopes of the Korazim Plateau. Its highest point is 58 meters (190 ft) below sea level, which is approximately 155 meters (509 ft) above the surface of the lake. The actual location of the Sermon on the Mount is not certain, but the present site (also known as Mount Eremos) has been commemorated for more than 1600 years. The site is very near Tabgha. Other suggested locations have included the nearby Mount Arbel or even the Horns of Hattin.
Sermon On The Mount
Church Of The Beatitudes is located on the spot where traditionally Jesus taught his followers, including the Sermon on the Mount.
The Sermon on the Mount is a collection of sayings and teachings of Jesus Christ, which emphasizes his moral teaching found in the Gospel of Matthew (chapters 5, 6, and 7). It is the first of the Five Discourses of Matthew and takes place relatively early in the Ministry of Jesus after John the Baptist has baptized him, had fasted and contemplated in the desert, and began to preach in Galilee.
The Sermon is the longest continuous discourse of Jesus found in the New Testament and has been one of the most widely quoted elements of the Canonical Gospels. It includes some of the best-known teachings of Jesus, such as the Beatitudes, and the widely recited Lord’s Prayer. The Sermon on the Mount is generally considered to contain the central tenets of Christian discipleship.
What Are Beatitudes?
The Beatitudes are eight blessings recounted by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount.
In the Vulgate, each of these blessings begins with the word “beati,” which translates to “happy,” “rich,” or “blessed.” The corresponding word in the original Greek is μακάριοι, with the same meanings. Thus “Blessed are the poor in spirit” appears in Latin as “beati pauperes spiritu.” The Latin noun beātitūdō was coined by Cicero to describe a state of blessedness and was later incorporated within the chapter headings written for Matthew 5 in various printed versions of the Vulgate. Subsequently, the word was anglicized to beatytudes in the Great Bible of 1540, and has, over time, taken on a preferred spelling of beatitudes.
Here is a quote from Matthew 5:3-12 (New International Version):
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Mount of Beatitudes is one of the stops on the Jesus Trail hiking route. Thus, I wanted to elaborate a little on this subject (for those who might be interested).
The Jesus Trail is a 65-kilometer hiking trail in the Galilee region of Israel that connects important sites from the life of Jesus as well as other historical and religious sites. The Jesus Trail offers an alternative for travelers and pilgrims to experience the steps of Jesus in a way that is authentic, adventurous, and educational by hiking through the rugged and beautiful landscape of the Galilee in Israel.
The main Jesus Trail hiking route is 65km and begins in Nazareth and passes through Zippori National Park, Cana, Ilaniya, Kibbutz Lavi, the Horns of Hattin, Nebi Shu’eib, Arbel National Park, Migdal, the Jesus Boat at Kibbutz Ginosar, Tabgha, the Mount of Beatitudes, and Capernaum.
Church of the Beatitudes
Located on a small hill overlooking the Sea of Galilee, and built on the traditional site of Jesus’ delivery of the Sermon on the Mount, pilgrims are known to have commemorated this site since at least the 4th century.
In her itinerary of the Holy Land, after describing the Church of the Loaves and Fishes, the pilgrim Egeria (ca. 381 CE) writes, “Near there on a mountain is the cave to which the Savior climbed and spoke the Beatitudes.” The current church sits near the ruins of a small Byzantine-era church dating to the late 4th century, which contains a rock-cut cistern beneath it and the remains of a small monastery to its southeast. Part of the original mosaic floor has also been recovered and is now on display in Capernaum. Both Popes Paul VI and John Paul II celebrated Mass at the church during their pastoral visits to the Holy Land.
And here is the full facade:
There are many beautiful roses in the gardens on site. Here is a macro of one of them:
It is not a big place. We wandered around, took some photos, and read a little. The whole visit took us around an hour.
Church of the Beatitudes is a lovely place with beautiful grounds. And if you are in the area, I would suggest stopping there. Moreover, since the visit will not take a lot of time, you can combine it with other places near the Sea of Galilee.
Have you ever been to Church of the Beatitudes on Mount of Beatitudes? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.
That’s all for today, and I’ll see you in future travels!
For additional attractions in the area, check out Sea of Galilee.
Additional ResourcesHere are several resources that I created to help travelers:
- Israel Trip Planner is the page that will help you to create your perfect travel route.
- National Parks And Nature Reserves page lists and put all national parks on the map. There is also a top list, information about ticket types and campsites.
- If you are looking for things to do, here are the pages for Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Sea Of Galilee, and Makhtesh Ramon.
- Wondering what events are there in Israel? Here is the Events And Festivals By Season guide.