Capernaum was once a fishing village with a relatively small population, situated on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. It dates back to the 2nd century BC during the time of the Hasmoneans. Here, Archeologists discovered two synagogues built on top of each other. They believe these synagogues are among some of the oldest in the world. In the immediate vicinity, a church was discovered, believed to be Saint Peter’s home. In 700 CE, following the Arab conquest, the town was destroyed. To this day, it remains uninhabited.
Capernaum is a place of significance according to the New Testament, where it is mentioned multiple times. According to Matthew, Jesus lived in Capernaum during his years of ministry (4:13). Jesus taught in the synagogue (Mark 1:21; John 6:59) and drove the evil spirit out of a possessed man. (Mark 1:23-27). Jesus is credited with healing multiple people in the village including a servant. However, not everyone welcomed Jesus with open arms. It is one of the three cities cursed by Jesus for its lack of faith.
Currently, the safekeeping of the synagogue ruins and care of the house of St. Peter, are shared between the Franciscans and Greek Orthodox Church. The Synagogue been restored and is now a museum.