With a history spanning almost 2,000 years, the town of Tiberias – built by Herod Antipas between 17-22 CE and named in honour of his Roman emperor – has multiple faces.
One of the four Jewish holy cities (along with Jerusalem, Hevron and Safed), it was the site of the writing of the Aleppo Codex , the Jerusalem Talmud and the completion of the Mishna as well as home to the Sanehdrin.
Tiberias has significance for Christians too and in the 12th century the Crusaders built the Church of St Peter, which later became a mosque and then a caravanserai (khan) before reclaiming its original use.
Today, along the waterfront of Tiberias are surviving mosaics from a 6th century synagogue, a 19th century synagogue, a Greek Orthodox monastery, St Peter’s Catholic Church, a mosque built by an 18th century Bedouin chieftain, Russian Orthodox and Church of Scotland churches – all within the basalt Byzantine city walls and nestled in among high-rise and boutique hotels.
- Postcard from Israel: Caesarea (cifwatch.com)