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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Tabgha, Galilee, Israel — The Middle East
 

Church of Heptapegon

The Seven Springs

 
 
Church of Heptapegon Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Richard E. Miller, May 24, 2011
1. Church of Heptapegon Marker
Inscription.
History
28–350 AD
The Judeo-Christians of Capharnaum venerated a large rock upon which Jesus is said to have laid the bread and fish before he fed the five thousand (Mk 6:30-44)

ca. 350 AD
Used as an altar, the rock was the very center of the first church at this site, built be a Jewish nobleman from Tiberias. Oriental communities venerated him as Saint Josipos. The church was built in close alignment with the ancient Via Maris.

ca. 480 AD
A Byzantine church with an unusual transept was erected. Its mosaic floor is of great artistic value. The building and its mosaics reveal Egyptian influence. The historic rock, reduced in size, was moved and placed beneath the altar.

614 AD
During the Persian invasion the Heptapegon Church was destroyed and faded into oblivion. After the Muslim conquest (636 AD) Christian activity ceased around the lake for centuries.

1932 The ancient church ruins, hidden for 1300 years, were excavated by Father Mader and his team. The mosaics were found, surprisingly, to be, to a large extent, intact.

1980/82 The ancient Byzantine basilica was reconstructed on its original foundations by the architects Goergen and Baumann. (Koln, Deutscher Verein vom Heiligen Land)

The
Church of Heptapegon Marker<br> - visible in the shade behind the middle arch Photo, Click for full size
By Richard E. Miller, May 24, 2011
2. Church of Heptapegon Marker
- visible in the shade behind the middle arch
missing sections of the mosaic floor were reconstructed in a way that allows the visitor to clearly distinguish between the original and renovated areas.
Fr. Bargil Pixner

 
Erected by Custodia Terrae Sanctae, Ordo Fratrum Minorum, Franciscan Friars.
 
Location. 32° 52.412′ N, 35° 32.964′ E. Marker is in Tabgha, Galilee. Marker can be reached from Route 87 0.8 kilometers east of Route 90. Click for map. The marker is off the church's courtyard, on the wall of the open breezeway.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 11 kilometers of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Capharnaum (approx. 2.4 kilometers away); The Synagogue of Capharnaum (approx. 2.5 kilometers away); The Synagogue of Jesus (approx. 2.6 kilometers away in Northern District); Domestic Building (approx. 9.8 kilometers away in Northern District); The Architecture of Tiberias (approx. 9.8 kilometers away in Northern District); The Synagogue (approx. 9.8 kilometers away in Northern District); Doors of Burial Caves / Burial Customs - Sarcophagi (approx. 9.8 kilometers away in Northern District); "Magic on the sea of galilee..." (approx. 9.8 kilometers away in Northern District).
 
More about this marker. The panel contains illustrations of the floor
The Church of Heptapegon Photo, Click for full size
By Richard E. Miller, May 24, 2011
3. The Church of Heptapegon
plan of the old church, portraits of St. Josipos, and renderings of the church's famous mosaics.
 
Also see . . .
1. Church of the Loaves and Fishes. (Submitted on July 2, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
2. Via Maris. Wikipedia (Submitted on July 2, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.) 

3. Tabgha. Tabgha (also spelled Tabhka) is not a city, but a small area on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee, not far from Capernaum. In ancient times, Tabgha was known as Heptapegon - "Place of the Seven Springs." These seven springs produce warm water, which increases the production of algae in this part of the lake, which attracts more fish. Fisherman have thus flocked to Heptapegon for thousands of years. ... (Submitted on July 3, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.) 
 
Additional keywords. "Feeding the 5,000"; Mount of the Beatitudes.
 
Categories. Arts, Letters, MusicChurches, Etc.
 
Church of Heptapegon - the altar over the rock where lay the bread and fishes Photo, Click for full size
By Richard E. Miller, May 24, 2011
4. Church of Heptapegon - the altar over the rock where lay the bread and fishes
before Jesus fed the Five Thousand.
Another of the church's shaded, exterior hallways Photo, Click for full size
By Richard E. Miller, May 24, 2011
5. Another of the church's shaded, exterior hallways
- note the art work on the door at left: illustrations of Feeding the 5000 and the Sermon on the Mount.
Church of the Beatitudes (1938) Photo, Click for full size
By Richard E. Miller, May 24, 2011
6. Church of the Beatitudes (1938)
- commemorating Jesus' "Sermon on the Mount", the modern Roman Catholic church was constructed on a hillside between Tabgha and Capharnaum overlooking the Sea of Galilee.
Interior marker commemorating the 1964 visit of Pope Paul VI to the Church of the Beatitudes Photo, Click for full size
By Richard E. Miller, May 24, 2011
7. Interior marker commemorating the 1964 visit of Pope Paul VI to the Church of the Beatitudes
The Sea of Galilee (Lake Tiberias), viewed from Tabgha near the Church of Heptapegon Photo, Click for full size
By Richard E. Miller, May 24, 2011
8. The Sea of Galilee (Lake Tiberias), viewed from Tabgha near the Church of Heptapegon
Church of Heptapegon Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Dale K. Benington, March 7, 2013
9. Church of Heptapegon Marker
A close-up view of the church floor plan, that is displayed on the historical marker.
Church of Heptapegon Photo, Click for full size
By Dale K. Benington, March 7, 2013
10. Church of Heptapegon
A more distant view of the altar over the rock where lay the bread and fishes, before Jesus fed the Five Thousand.
Church of Heptapegon Photo, Click for full size
By Dale K. Benington, March 8, 2013
11. Church of Heptapegon
A panoramic view of the interior of the Church of Heptapegon.
Church of Heptapegon Photo, Click for full size
By Dale K. Benington, March 8, 2013
12. Church of Heptapegon
View of the mosaic floor, located in the side of the church to the left of the altar.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,293 times since then and 160 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   3. submitted on , by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   4. submitted on , by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   5, 6. submitted on , by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   7, 8. submitted on , by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   9, 10, 11, 12. submitted on , by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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