The area of Tabgha is mostly defined by the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes and is frequently visited by pilgrims and visitors today. Located along the northwestern shore of the Lake Kinneret, it has been disputed amongst scholars whether this is the actual location where the miracle took place. It is written that Jesus crossed over to the Eastern shore with his disciples to have some time to contemplate and pray, where 5,000 followers already awaited him to hear him preach and witness his miracles. As it became more and more dangerous in the following centuries for pilgrims to travel to the Eastern shore, the miracle is said to have been “relocated” to the Western and more accessible shore.
It is here where the ruins of several old churches were found. The first church was erected by Constantine the Great around 350 A.C. This church was destroyed by an earthquake in the region and in the middle of the 5th century a new church was built on its ruins. It was constructed in form of an atrium which was unusual for the time, as mostly basilica type churches were built in that era. The most precious aspect of the church was a sophisticated mosaic in front of the altar, which depicts the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. This mosaic even survived another earthquake which led to the complete destruction of the atrium. Today the mosaic is one of the most well-preserved mosaics in the country and protected by a new church with a beautiful courtyard and old olive trees.
Just a hundred meters north of the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes, one finds the Church of the Primacy of St. Peter. It is believed that Jesus appeared here a third time after his resurrection creating another miracle for the disciples catching fish on the lake.