During the twentieth century ancient church ruins in Tabgha were excavated, uncovering a stunning mosaic basilica floor from a Byzantine era church, hidden for some 1,300 years. In 1936 a replica of the Byzantine basilica was built on the same site, believed to be the ‘solitary place’ where Jesus miraculously multiplied five loaves and bread and two fish to feed 5,000 listeners.
These loaves and fish are depicted in the mosaic just in front of the altar. Other parts of the tile mosaic show a variety of birds and plants from the Galilee region.
A 2015 arson attack badly damaged parts of the church, but luckily the fifth century mosaics remained unharmed.
Restoration work is ongoing, so it’s a good idea to call ahead to make sure the church is open before visiting.