Kursi National Park is an archaeological site, located in northern Israel, that contains the impressive remains of a monastery and church from the Byzantine period. It is also said, to be the site where Jesus performed “Miracle of the swine” on a man possessed by legions of demons or known also as the “Exorcism of the Gerasene demoniac” according to the new Testament (Mathew 8: 28- 34).
The site was discovered only in 1970 during road works after the Six-Day war. The workers accidentally revealed the walls of the monastery, which started an archaeological expedition. At first, only the monastery and church were found. Later on, a bath complex was found near by and even a synagogue – showing the wide variety of cultures that lived in the area.
The Kursi National Park is considered to be a major pilgrimage site, host to many pilgrims and monks. The site was functional until 614 when the Persians invaded Israel and destroyed this site. It was later reconstructed but demolished again by an earthquake in 749.
Points Of Interest
Kursi National Park has a lot of exciting things that will leave its visitors with a remarkable experience. There is never a dull moment in this old monastery if visited.
The entrance is featured by a big atrium, guarded by a 2-story tower. Inside, you can find the Basilica – where the main altar used to be, the Mosaics – decorated with birds and fish and other unique symbols of the times, the Chapel – where 30 monks skeletons were found buried in a crypt, the Baptistery, oil press room, storage and living area and much more.
The well reserved park shows in great clearance how life used to be in ancient times.
The park also features other things such as the holy rock, enchanted bench (which scientifically has been shown to radiant unique energy), remains of the late Roman period bathhouse, the sand verses, a spectacular mosaic from the Byzantine period, a Jewish synagogue from the Talmud times, and even more.
Inside the park, there is an audio guide that provides a detailed historical background of the park in five languages. If visited alone, without a tour guide, it is highly recommended to use the audio guide for a complete walkthrough of the interesting history of the place.
Golan Archaeological Museum
Another place worth visiting is the Golan Archaeological Museum. It is a museum which features artifacts from every historical period. The museum is home to lots of archaeological artifacts from several Byzantine-period Christian Churches, not forgetting the finds from Kursi known as the “Miracle of Gadarene Swine.”