Mount of the Beatitudes – The Sermon on the Mount

Sitting on a spur of a hill overlooking Tabgha and Capernaum, the Mount of the Beatitudes is revered as the site where according to Christian tradition Jesus delivered the “Sermon on the Mount” (Mathew 5:1-35). The Mount of the Beatitudes is also revered as where Jesus chose twelve of his disciples as apostles (Luke 6:12).

Today the Mount of the Beatitudes is marked by a church crowned with a dark copper dome set among well groomed gardens.  The dome is supported by an octagon, each facet representing one of the blessings of the Sermon on the Mount.  The floor of the church is decorated with symbols of the seven virtues around an altar with an arched canopy.

The contemporary church was designed by the Franciscan architect Antonio Barluzzi and was built in 1937 with funds provided by the Italian government. The church, gardens and adjacent pilgrim hospice are maintained today by Franciscan nuns.

Located on the peak of the Mount of Beatitudes is a Christian meeting place called Domus Galilaeae (“House of Galilee”). This modern-style building opened in 2000 after a short period of construction, and since then it has been used for seminars, conventions and retreats. The center and nearby monasteries belong to the Neo-Catechumenal Way, a Catholic movement for Christian reformation. It also has a library, which is dedicated to books about the Sermon on the Mount; the ancient Torah is displayed at the center of the library. The chapel contains a large painting by Arguello that pays homage to the church’s Jewish origins. There is also a hostel just adjacent to the church.

The site is reasonably accessible in a wheelchair.

While the Mount of Beatitudes is, no doubt, of religious significance, one doesn’t have to be religious to appreciate the history and enjoy the beauty of the site. While Christian pilgrims will immediately realize why the Mount of Beatitudes holds a special place for them, non-religious persons can also appreciate and admire the unique atmosphere of the sites there, as well as their architecture.

Getting there

Road 8177 – just east of Road 90 (the main north south road) – just north of Kfar Nahum Junction.

You may choose to sign up for guided Sea of Galilee tours, which include Mount of Beatitudes as part of the itinerary.