Mount of Beatitudes

Mount of Beatitudes or Mount Eremos is a small mountain (just 125 meters above surrounding plateau) on the shores of Sea of Galilee in Northern Israel famous as the site where Jesus Christ preached his famous teaching that became known as the Sermon on the Mount.


Location: Western Shores of Sea of Galilee


Description of Mount of Beatitudes

Mount of Beatitudes is a fairly tall hill towering at 125 meters above the South- Western shore of the Sea of Galilee. It is most famous as a location where Jesus Christ gave his famous Sermon on the Mount, which also gave its name. Additionally it was also here that Jesus picked his 12 apostles or close students. The place is revered by Christians since Byzantine times and first ruins of the Christian church date back to the early medieval period.


Each part of the sermon starts with the word "Blessed are the...", hence it became known as the Mount of Beatitudes. It was also here Jesus Christ chose his apostles. First Christian church on the hill top was constructed in the 4th century by the Byzantines. It was in use until 7th century when it was destroyed by the invading armies of the Persian Empire. Ruins of the a original monastery and water cisterns is still visible today.


Current prominent structure on the Mount of Beatitudes is a Roman Catholic Church constructed in 1937 under design of architect Antonio Barlutstsi. Octagonal shape of the tower is not accidental. It was designed to represent eight beatitudes mentioned in the Sermon. Today it belongs to the monastic order of the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Additionally inside the church eight alabaster windows record eight beatitudes. In 1984 church got its mosaic floor designed by Vasco Nasorri. Hill top of the Mount of Beatitudes opens a great view of the Sea of Galilee and surrounding lands below.


The pilgrim Egeria (about 380) reported that Jesus Christ pronounced the Beatitudes in a cave on a mountain located near the place where Jesus Christ multiplied five loaves and two fish, not far from Capernaum. In 1907, the site was acquired by the Franciscans and archaeological excavations began on it. In 1935, at the foot of the mountain, across the road from the Temple of the Multiplication of Loaves and Fishes, the remains of a small one-nave church of the late 4th century, destroyed around 625, were discovered. The church was decorated with mosaics, and fragments of its mosaic floor are currently on display in the museum in Capernaum.

In 1937-1938, the Catholic Church of the Beatitudes was built on the top of the mountain by the architect Antonio Barluzzi. The temple is located on the territory of the Franciscan convent. The temple has an octagonal layout according to the number of the Beatitudes in the Western tradition. This location offers views of the surrounding hills and Lake Tiberias.

Later, Greek tradition identified the Mount of Beatitudes with Mount Karney-Hittin, located 6 km west of Tiberias. This was reported by the monk Parthenius in 1845. Therefore, in 1914, Archimandrite Leonid (Sentsov) planned to acquire a plot there, but his plans did not materialize due to the outbreak of the First World War.

The version about the place of the Sermon on the Mount on Mount Karney Hittin was reflected in the Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913 and in the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia of 1939. Currently, this version is accepted by some Protestants, who erect a monument at its foot in memory of this evangelical event.