Capernaum, or Kfar Nahum Israel, is one of the most frequently visited sites at the Lake Kinneret besides the Mount of Beatitudes and the Church of Multiplication. It is an ancient village, where Jesus is said to have lived and taught for several years. In former days the site was a busy trading center and well-known fishing spot and until today the site has the largest fish population of the whole lake.
The ruins of the site were first found in the 1800s and serious excavations and analysis began in the beginning of the 20th century. An old synagogue built of basalt stone was excavated along with an octagonal church and several mosaics. The basalt synagogue is believed to be the synagogue where Jesus preached on Shabbat, and like other synagogues, it faced Jerusalem. It was destroyed along with the temple around 70 AD and was replaced a couple hundred years later with a white-stone synagogue whose ruins can still be seen today.
Jesus performed some of his great healings here, i.e. 4 disciples caught fish in a miraculous way; the daughter of Jarius rose from the dead; evil spirits were driven out of men in the synagogue; one servant afflicted with palsy was healed completely.
It is said that he started his sermons here after the temptation in the wilderness and he chose his first four disciples in Capernaum – Peter, Andrew, James, and John. The stone house of the disciple Peter was excavated just a few hundred meters away from the synagogue.
In 1986, when the water level of the Sea of Galilee was unnaturally low, an ancient fishing boat was discovered. It is dated back to the first century BC and is exhibited today at Kibbutz Ginosar.