This magnificent building of Domus Galilaeae is in the lower galilee dominating the Sea of Galilee and the Mont of Beatitudes.
Domus Galilaeae first stone was laid in January 1999, the building was built in a short period of time with traditional Tuscan stone.
The opening of the site was held in 2000.
Managed by the Catholic organization Neocatechumenal Way, Domus Galilaeae employs about 150 full-time people, including workers, technicians and volunteers. There are 37 Christian Arab workers, 32 Arab Muslims, 21 technicians, 20 Jews, Druze and 10 Maronites.
It was inaugurated by Pope John Paul II during his visit for the Holy Land Millennium .
In the center of the library is an ancient Torah.
Francisco José Argüello Gómez y Wirtz more fluently called Kiko Arguello Wirtz was born in Spain January 9, 1939. A Spanish artist who studied fine art at the Royal Academy of San Fernando in Madrid and received in 1959 the Special National Award for painting.
He is not only the architect but also the innovator of what became in 1964 the Neocatechumenal Way in the slums of Palomeras Altas in Madrid.
On May 13, 2009, he received an honorary doctorate by the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family.
The center is designed as a place where Christians would learn about the living tradition of Israel following the footsteps of early Christian saints “who have returned to their Hebrew roots by studying the meaning of prayer, celebrations and Hebrew liturgies” .
John Paul II, who illustrated a new era affinity between Catholics and Jews, stressed the need to appreciate the Jewish roots in order to live an authentic Christianity.
Archaeologists say they have uncovered the remains of King Herod’s palace in Jerusalem – and with it the site where the trial of Jesus may have taken place.
The Benedictine Church of the Multiplication of Loaves and Fishes, called Tabgha in Arabic or Heptategon in Latin meaning – seven sources is located on the shores of the Sea of Galilee on the ancient roman road – The Via Maris.
The magnificent Byzantine mosaics of the church, dating from the sixth century, describe the migratory birds crossing the Holy land and resting at the Sea of Galilee.
Israel is the passage of migratory birds on their way to Africa heading to Europe, one never get tired of watching flights of storks, cranes, pelicans, cormorants, kingfishers, hawks and many others above our heads in Spring or Autumn.
There is also a Nilometer in this mosaic, a measure that was used in Egypt to know the height of the Nile.
The fact that a nilometer is shown in this mosaic implies either :
That this measure was used outside Egypt and the artist probably an Egyptian reproduced what he knew best.
We know as well that the nilometer allowed to know the water level of the lake meaning a better harvest if there was a lot of water and higher taxes to be pay by the farmers.