Jerusalem is the center of three of the oldest religions in the world: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. So, it’s no surprise that thousands of the most fascinating and historical churches, synagogues and mosques are in Israel.
Millions of Christians traveled to Israel every year, so we decided to come up with a few of the most visited churches in the Holy Land. Our Israel tours take you to these popular Christian and historical sites in Israel.
Church of All Nations
The Church of All Nations is a Roman Catholic church located in the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. Next to this church you will find the Garden of Gethsemane believed to be the place where Jesus prayed before his arrest (Matthew 26:36).
“Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, sit here while I go over there and pray. He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, my soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me. Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, my Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” —Matthew 26:36-39
The colorful facade makes it the picture-perfect spot for tourists looking to post a great photo for your Facebook or Instagram friends. The church is managed by the Franciscans and inside you will find a rock believed to be where Jesus prayed in agony on the night of his betrayal.
Church of the Holy Sepulcher
The site of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher is believed to be the place of the crucifixion of Jesus and where he was buried. This is without a doubt the most visited site by Christian pilgrims from around the world. 10 years after the crucifixion, a wall around the area was built. Many years later, the Roman emperor Constantine 1 decided to build a church around the site and construction workers found a tomb believed to be the tomb of Jesus.
Despite the many times this church has been destroyed and rebuilt, the complex remains architecturally fascinating and a historical site you cannot miss.
Church of the Nativity
The Church of the Nativity is in Bethlehem and is believed to be the birthplace of Jesus. The grotto is the oldest place worshipped in Christianity and the basilica is the oldest major church in the Holy Land. Named a World Heritage and UNESCO site, the church has endured many reconstructions after Constantine the Great and his mother Helena built it in 327.
The cave located under the church is believed to be the place that Joseph found after not being able to find lodging in the village before Jesus’ birth. This is also the place where the Magi came to visit the newborn.
Church of the Beatitudes
The Church of the Beatitudes is located by the Sea of Galilee near Tabgha in Israel and it’s believed to be where Jesus delivered the Sermon of the Mount. The modern church built in 1938 was built near the Byzantine ruins of a 4th century church and it’s considered to be one of the most serene sites in the Holy Land. Capernaum, the town where Jesus ministered and lived is only 3km away.
The site of the Mount of Beatitudes is also believed to be where Jesus met with his apostles after his resurrection (Matthew 28:16-20). A fun fact, the eight sides of the church represent the eight beatitudes.
Church of the Multiplication
The Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes is in Tabgha, near the Sea of Galilee. The church was built over the site of 4th and 5th century churches and you will see a stone where it is believed to be where Jesus performed the miracle meal of five thousand people with one loaf of bread and two fishes (Mark 6:30-44). The highlight in the church is the stunning 5th-century mosaic floor.
America Israel Tours take you to these historical and Biblical sites. Click here to browse our available Christian Israel tours.