Magdala is an ancient city on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, opposite the current town Migdal. The townspeople were engaged in fishing, trades, and salting fish. This is where Mary Magdalene, companion of Jesus, was born.
The city's inhabitants took part in the Great Revolt under Josephus Flavius but were defeated by the Romans. As a result, many were killed, and others were exiled.
A Jewish settlement existed on the site until the seventh century, with a Christian town next to it. In the seventh century, the two towns were abandoned.
Since 1971, excavations have begun at the site, revealing the remains of a church and ancient public buildings. There is also an old port and an ancient ship attributed to the time of Jesus and is displayed today in Beit Yigal Alon in Kibbutz Genoser.
In 2006, the Papal Institution of Notre Dame in Jerusalem purchased the area to establish a spiritual center. Simultaneously with the construction, rescue excavations took place, which in 2009 revealed the ruins of the city of ancient Magdala. These excavations also revealed an ancient synagogue from the Second Temple period - one of the oldest synagogues in the country.
A square limestone that served as a model of the Temple was found in the synagogue. Today, two replicas of this stone are placed on the site.
An impressive church has been erected on the site, used by believers who visit the place.
🏩 The archeological garden is currently operated by the hotel. However, the place does not regularly work due to the corona crisis and the drastic decline in inbound tourism. Therefore, you should check with the hotel when and if you can visit.
🎫 The hotel usually holds tours for its guests on Saturdays at 11:00, and sometimes you can join these tours at the cost of 17 NIS. The guided tour is highly recommended and upgrades the visit significantly.
For more trips in the area press here