Your Tour Operators in Israel are here and getting ready for your return to do those special more personal Holy Land Tours. One of the very popular Holy Land Tours amongst our pilgrims is doing the Jesus Trail.
The Jesus trail is a route in the Galilee region in Northern Israel following the life and ministry of Jesus. It starts in Nazareth and ends in Capernaum. It has become very popular amongst pilgrims wishing to do something different, special and personally spiritual especially if done mostly by foot. There are many important sites from the life and ministry of Jesus and other Historical and religious sites on your route between Nazareth and Capernaum. One of the sites I would like to tell you about is the National Park Zippori.
Your tour will start in Nazareth and continue to your next stop on your exciting Holy Land Tours to the Israel National Park Zippori ( also known as Sephhoris) which dates back to 5000 BCE.
Why stop at Zippori?
This is where our story begins with the roots of Jesus. Zippori is believed to be the birthplace of Mary, mother of Jesus. According to the Gospels of Mathew and Luke, Mary is betrothed to Joseph who will then of course become the father of Jesus. According to Christianity tradition Mary remained a virgin and conceived Jesus through the Holy Spirit.
Going further back into Jesus’s family history we believe that Zippori was the residence of Anne and Joachim, Mary’s parents. Thus they are the grandparents of Jesus. It is believed that Mary’s father, Joachim was a headmaster in a Rabbinical school in Zippori. It is also believed that young Jesus spent time studying with his grandfather the scriptures at the rabbinical school in Zippori and also spent time with his grandfather enjoying cultural activities, as Zippori was considered on a high cultural level for the times.
Zippori was the capitol of the Galilee in the 1st century. Tsipor is a Hebrew word which means bird. There is a wonderful birds – eye view from the hill overlooking the valley below. Zippori is a former village and archaeological site so pilgrims who are interested in history and archaeology will have much to learn and see. There is a famous well-kept Byzantine mosaic floor which includes a woman’s face and is known as “The Mona Lisa of the Galilee”. There is also a well preserved zodiac mosaic floor featuring Greek deities.
The Orthodox Church, Catholic Church, Roman Catholic Church, Anglican Church and Lutheran Church believe that Mary being the mother of Jesus is also “Mother of God”. There is a 5th century Basilica excavation at Zippori honoring the birth of Mary as Jesus’s mother.
In the 7th century the town of Sepphoris was conquered by Arab armies which ruled there until the invasion on the crusaders directed by the Latin Church to recover the Holy Land from Islamic rule.
In 1992 the remains of the ancient city were excavated and it was made into an archaeological reserve named Zippori National Park. On this site is the remains of a Roman Theater, two early Christian churches, a crusader fort and sixty different mosaics dating from the third to sixth century. In the 5th century CE the Christian community in the city increased and evidence of this is in the excavations which show the remains of the Byzantine Crusader Church.
Your Tour Operators in Israel will assign you the best qualified guide to lead you on your journey following in Jesus’s path and ministry, and who is an expert on the sites you will be visiting.