For those familiar with the New Testament, the Sermon on the Mount will probably ring a bell. For those unfamiliar with the term, it refers to one of the famous sermons that Jesus delivered. The specific site of the sermon is unconfirmed but for the past 1600 years it has been accepted that a small hill known as the Mount of Beatitudes (or Har HaOsher in Hebrew), that overlooks the Sea of Galilee is where he delivered the sermon.
Due to the fact that Jesus was banished to nearby Capernaum, the suggestion that the Mount of Beatitudes is the place where Jesus delivered his sermon is entirely plausible. Tourists and pilgrims have been to this site since the fourth century. Today, a church, monastery and hostel can be found on site and it is easy to picture Jesus looking out over the multitudes of people and delivering his words.
From this vantage point on the northern side of the Sea of Galilee (Kinneret in Hebrew) one can look upon the places where Jesus lived and worked. Archaeological evidence points to a church that was erected near to the site dating back to the fourth century. There is a rock-cut cistern, remains of a monastery and part of an original mosaic floor display to be seen.
The present Church of the Beatitudes was built in 1938, is built in an octagonal shape that represents the eight beatitudes, has a marble veneer and a gold mosaic on the dome. A mosaic floor was installed in 1984 by Italian Vasco Nasorri.
The Church of the Beatitudes is a stunning place to spend some time in before moving on to the beautiful surrounding gardens.