Chorazin Tourist Attractions
Situation and characteristicsThe site of Chorazin (Korazim), a small Jewish town which is mentioned in the New Testament, lies 4km/2.5mi north of the Sea of Galilee, 2km/1.25mi east of the road from Tiberias to Rosh Pinna. It is reached by turning off the road to Rosh Pinna 19km/12mi north of Tiberias into an asphalted side road on the right which leads to the kibbutz of Almagor. In 2km/1.25mi, after passing a road on the left to the new settlement of Chorazin, the site of ancient Chorazin can be seen on the right.HistoryChorazin features in the New Testament as one of the cities upbraided by Jesus for their lack of faith (Matthew 11,21). The remains of buildings to be seen today belong to a town built in the second century A.D. on the site of an earlier settlement. The town prospered, and in the late second or early third century could afford to build a synagogue. In the early fourth century, however - as the result either of an earthquake or of a conflict between Jews and Christians - the town was destroyed and thereafter remained unoccupied until the 16th century, when a small Jewish community was established here. Later they were joined by Muslims, who left the village in the mid 20th century.
The most important building in Chorazin was - and is - the synagogue, built in the second or third century, also of black basalt. Like the synagogues of Capernaum and Bet Alfa, it has three aisles. The entrance was at the south end. Parts of the walls of the rectangular hall, the floor and the bases of ten of the original fourteen columns between the aisles still remain. The synagogue was richly decorated with architectural sculpture, like the one at Capernaum, but in less refined forms because of the harder material. The carving includes foliage, fruit, animals and human faces. A particularly interesting find on the site of the synagogue was a finely carved stone seat with an Aramaic dedicatory inscription (now in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem). Seats of this kind were installed in old synagogues as places of honor for the head of the community.
Chorazin originally covered an area of 6 hectares/15 acres and was divided into four districts. The houses were built of the local black basalt, giving the settlement a rather somber effect. Many of the houses have been restored. Within one building near the synagogue is an oil-press.