The modern church - INSULA SACRA - The Octagonal Church at Capernaum virtual tour
The Octagonal Church at Capernaum virtual tour
Capernaum is situated on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee near one of the main highways connecting Galilee with Damascus.
The House of St. Peter
The glass-enclosed ruins of the foundation.
One block of homes, called by the Franciscan excavators the sacra insula or "holy insula" ("insula" refers to a block of homes around a courtyard) was found to have a complex history.
The Byzantine church was built according to a pattern completely different from the previous domus-ecclesia.
Located between the synagogue and the lakeshore, it was found near the front of a labyrinth of houses from many different periods. Three principal layers have been identified:
1. A group of private houses built around the first century BC which remained in use until the early fourth century AD.
2. The great transformation of one of the homes in the fourth century AD.
3. The octagonal church in the middle of the fifth century AD.
The excavators concluded that one house in the village was venerated as the house of Peter the fisherman as early as the mid-first century AD, with two churches having been constructed over it (Lofreda, 1984).