The cured northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee contains several brackish springs, this explaining the Greek name for the site, Heptapegon (seven springs). Over the years, the name was destroyed to Tabgha. The site is Yeshua’ miraculous feeding of the multitude is commemorated by a fourth century church whose flower and bird mosaics are the most beautiful in the Holy Land. Between the apse and altar of the church is a fifth to sixth century mosaic, representing fishes and a basket of loaves (Mk. 6:34, Luke 9:10).
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.
By the 4th century AD, Heptapegon had become a popular place for Byzantine pilgrims to rest and have their picnics, thanks to its shady trees and excellent fishing. It is probably not coincidence that two of the three pilgrimage destinations in this relate to abundant food: the miracle of the loaves and fishes during Yeshua' Galilean ministry and a lakeside fish breakfast after Yeshua' resurrection.
A hill above the two lakeside churches is commemorated as the Mount of Beatitudes, from which Yeshua spoke the most famous sermon in history. Tabgha is a beautiful area with many interesting things to see, and is a major stop for modern pilgrimages to the Christian sites of the Sea of Galilee. It is only a few miles from Capernaum (to the north) and the Galilee Boat (to the south).
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