Domus Galilaea: One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. (Psalm 27:4)
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 9am to 12:30pm and 3pm to 4:30pm
Pope John Paul II wanted to build a place for retreat, instruction and ordination on the Mount of Beatitudes. Construction of Domus Galilaea began in 1999 with the full blessing of the Holy Father. The first stone contained fragments of Saint Peter’s tomb.
The Domus Galilaea is situated on top of the Sanctuary of the Beatitudes. It is directly in front of Lake Tiberias and above Tabgha and Capernaum. Less than two kilometers away the ruins of Korazim can be seen. There was also a road that connected ancient Korazim and Capernaum.
Spanish painter Kiko Argüello teamed up with other international architects designed a complex with modern straight lines, yet still one that blended into the natural surroundings of Galilee. The Hebrew architect Dan Mochly from Haifa joined with Argentinean architect Daniel Cevilan to begin building in January 1999. The Domus Galilaea was truly an international endeavor pulling together people from Spain, Haifa, Russia, Austria and many other countries.
The first highest terrace includes a congressional center which can accommodate numerous translations simultaneously and can accommodate over 300 people. It can be used for conferences, Bible studies, meetings, theological lectures about Jesus and conventions.
Some of the notable structures of the Domus Galilaea are a computerized library of Biblical studies and the “Sanctuary of the Word.” The library is state of the arts. The Sanctuary of the Word is a place for deep and prolonged study of the scriptures. The Sanctuary of the Word in the Domus Galilaea has 80 thrones in it. At the end of the long rows of thrones is the Tabernacle with a place for the Scriptures and a place for the Sacraments. In front of the Tabernacle are three arches representing the Trinity. There are stained glass depictions of the Garden of Eden. There is also a church for Eucharist celebrations memorializing Jesus.
The Domus Galilaea is designed in a way to encourage visitors to rediscover architectural and iconographic shapes that cause one to meditate on beauty. It is their belief that humans were created to desire an ultimate beauty. Domus Galilaea strives to lead the viewer to seek the beautiful and find it in Jesus.
The goal of Domus Galilaea is to provide a place for seminarians and pastors to come and learn of the life of Jesus in the land he lived. Those responsible for the Domus Galilaea project desire to provide the most authoritative scriptural scholarship, devout Biblical study and thorough investigation of the Bible in the world. This definitely includes reading the scriptures in light of the Hebrew liturgies.