Footsteps of Jesus
According to the New Testament, the life of Jesus of Nazareth was played out in a relatively small geographical area of the world. Most of the major sites associated with Jesus' life are in Israel and the West Bank, with the few exceptions including the childhood journey to Egypt, a healing miracle in Tyre (modern Lebanon) and his possible baptism in modern-day Jordan. But within this small area, Jesus traveled a great deal, especially in the course of his three-year ministry in the region of Galilee.
Below is an illustrated list of Jesus sites, with associated biblical references and links to articles and photos. If you would like to visit these sites on a guided tour, see our Biblical Tours directory.
|Event in the Life of Jesus||Associated Location|
|The Annunciation |
Nazareth was the hometown of Mary and Joseph. It was here that Mary was visited by the angel Gabriel and told she would conceive a child by the Holy Spirit. Lk 1:26-38
|Basilica of the Annunciation |
The Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth stands on the traditional site of Gabriel's announcement to Mary. In Nazareth you can also visit Mary's Well, where she may have fetched water regularly, and St. Gabriel's Orthodox Church.
|Birth of Jesus |
Jesus was born in a manger in Bethlehem, the City of David, while Mary and Joseph were there for the Roman census. Angels announced the event to nearby shepherds and Magi arrived to worship him. Lk 2:1-20; Mt 2:1-9
|Church of the Nativity |
This church in Bethlehem was originally built by Constantine over a cave associated with the manger. A star that marks the traditional site of the Nativity. The relics of the Three Magi are said to be in Cologne Cathedral.
|Escape to Egypt |
Joseph was warned in a dream to flee to Egypt to avoid the wrath of Herod, who heard about the birth of the "King of the Jews" from the Magi and had all young boys in Judea killed. The family stayed in Egypt until Herod died. Mt 2:13-20
|Nile Valley |
The Holy Family is traditionally believed to have followed a route along the north of Egypt, then south along the Nile River Valley, not staying in any one place too long (map and description). There are several churches, convents, and sacred springs along the route.
The New Testament says little about Jesus' formative years, but it does indicate that he grew up in Nazareth. He is assumed to have trained as a carpenter under Joseph and to have had a traditional Jewish upbringing. Mt 2:22-23; 21:11; Mk 1:9
In Nazareth, pilgrims can visit Mary's Well, where Mary may have drawn water and would have brought the young Jesus along, and the Church of St. Joseph, built over the site of Joseph's workshop where Jesus probably helped.
|First Miracle |
Jesus performed the first of many miracles at Cana, a small village near Nazareth. Invited to a wedding, Jesus helped the frantic host by turning water into wine. Jn 2:1-11
|Wedding Church |
Cana (Kafr Kanna)
It is not known for certain where Cana is located, but the most popular tradition identifies it with the modern village of Kefr' Kenna, about 7 km northeast of Nazareth. The Franciscan "Wedding Church" celebrates the miracle of Cana.
Jesus was baptized by his cousin, John the Baptist, on the shores of the Jordan River. Here John identified Jesus as the Lamb of God, and a dove was seen to land on Jesus as he came up out of the water. Mt 3 He later returned to the site to teach. Jn 1:40-42
|Baptism Site |
The site traditionally identified with Jesus' baptism is east of Jericho in Jordan. It has been extensively excavated and developed since the 1994 peace treaty and there are now many ancient ruins and modern structures to see here.
|Temptation in the Wilderness |
After his baptism, Jesus withdrew into the nearby desert to fast and pray for 40 days. The Devil tried three times to tempt Jesus to break his fast or compromise his mission.Matthew 4:1-11
|Monastery of the Temptation |
Mount Quarntal, just north of Jericho, is the traditional site of this event, and it is commemorated by the Greek Orthodox Monastery of the Temptation.
|Calling of the Disciples |
Christ's first disciples were fishermen Jesus encountered on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. He challenged them to leave their nets and become "fishers of men."Mt 5:18-22
| Galilee Boat (Jesus Boat) |
Kibbutz Ginosar, Galilee
The Sea of Galilee and the region of Galilee is in northern Israel. A 1st-century fishing boat was recently discovered in the mud here, which may be very similar to the one Jesus used. Known as the Galilee Boat or Jesus Boat, it is on display at Kibbutz Ginosar.
|Rejection in Nazareth|
After his temptation in the desert, Jesus returned to Nazareth where he grew up and began to preach in the synagogues. When he said "No prophet is accepted in his hometown," the people tried to throw him off a cliff. Luke 4:14-30
Mount Kedumim, Nazareth
A clifftop site on Mount Kedumim near Nazareth is traditionally believed to be the site of this event and is known as Mount Precipice. There are few ruins here, but fine views.
|Ministry in Galilee |
Most of Jesus' early teachings and miracles occurred around the Sea of Galilee. During this time, he made his home in Capernaum at the family home of St. Peter.
|House of St. Peter |
A spaceship-like modern Franciscan church stands on the site of the House of St. Peter in Capernaum, where Jesus lived, healed a paralytic, and healed Peter's mother-in-law.
|Feeding of the 5,000 |
On the shores of the Sea of Galilee, Jesus multiplied just a few loaves and fishes into enough food to feed 5,000 people. Mt 15:32-39
|Church of the Loaves and Fishes |
This famous miracle is commemorated by the Church of the Loaves and Fishes at Tabgha, on the northwestern shore of the Galilee. The church features 5th-century mosaics, including one of a basket of bread with two fish.
|Sermon on the Mount |
The most famous of Jesus' many sermons is the Sermon on the Mount, which begins with the Beatitudes ("Blessed are the meek...) Mt 5-7
|Mount of Beatitudes |
According to tradition, the Sermon on the Mount occurred on a small rise at Tabgha, where now stands the octagonal Church of the Beatitudes. There are lovely views from here.
"Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them." Mt 17:1-9
Since the 4th century, this hill rising above the Jezreel Valley has been identified as the Mount of Transfiguration. There are Franciscan and Greek Orthodox churches at the top.
|Triumphal Entry |
In what was to be the last week of his life, Jesus entered into Jerusalem on a donkey, while cheering crowds lauded him with palm fronds.
|Palm Sunday Procession |
Religious processions take place in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday each year to commemorate this event.
Raising of Lazarus
|Tomb of Lazarus |
In Bethany, pilgrims can visit the Tomb of Lazarus, which has been revered from an early date. There is also a Franciscan Church of St. Lazarus that stands on the site of earlier churches.
|Anointed at Bethany |
Jesus stayed at the house of Simon the Leper, where his feet were anointed with perfume by Mary. Mk 14:1-10
|House of Simon the Leper |
Near a modern Greek Orthodox church in Bethany are substantial ruins that belong to the Orthodox Patriarchate and are traditionally identified as the House of Simon the Leper.
|Last Supper |
On the night Jesus was betrayed and arrested, he shared a last meal with his disciples. It was during this meal that he instituted the Christian sacrament of the Eucharist. Mk 14:12-26;
|Last Supper Room |
The event is traditionally associated with the Last Supper Room on Mount Zion in Jerusalem. The event was most famously commemorated by Leonardo da Vinci's fresco The Last Supper, which is in a church in Milan.
|Prayer, Betrayal and Arrest |
After the Last Supper, Jesus led his disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane and asked them to keep watch while he prayed. They fell asleep, and then fled when Jesus was identified by Judas and arrested. Mt 26:36-56; Mk 14:32-51
|Basilica of the Agony |
The Church of All Nations (or Basilica of the Agony) marks the place where Jesus prayed alone and in agony. The Cave of Gethsemane marks the site of the betrayal.
|Trial and Condemnation by Pilate |
After being condemned by the Sanhedrin, Jesus is taken before the Roman governor Pontius Pilate for trial. At the instigation of the crowd, Jesus is sentenced to death by crucifixion. Mt 27; Mk 15
|Chapel of the Condemnation or Citadel |
On the Via Dolorosa is the Chapel of the Condemnation, built over the site traditionally identified with the trial of Jesus. But a more likely historical candidate for the site is the Citadel, which was the royal palace during the time of Christ and is where Pilate would have likely resided.
Jesus was flogged by Roman soldiers before being led to his execution. Mt 27:27-30
|Monastery of the Flagellation |
This event is commemorated in the Franciscan Monastery of the Flagellation on the Via Dolorosa, next to the Chapel of the Condemnation.
|Walk to Calvary |
Jesus was made to carry his own cross from the place of his condemnation to Calvary. Jn 17:19
| Via Dolorosa |
The Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem is believed to be the path Jesus took to Calvary, where he was crucified. Stations of the Cross mark various events along the way, some of which are not recorded in the New Testament.
Jesus was crucified at "a place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull)" between two thieves. After about three hours of suffering and mocking, Jesus "gave up his spirit." Mt 27:32-55
|Church of the Holy Sepulchre |
The site of Jesus' crucifixion is believed to be the area identified as Calvary within the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. A Greek Orthodox altar stands directly over the rocky outcrop on which the cross of Christ is believed to have stood. The rock can be touched through a hole on the floor under the altar.
|Burial and Resurrection |
"As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus' body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away." Mt 27:57-60
| Church of the Holy Sepulchre or Garden Tomb |
The holiest site in Jerusalem, and indeed all of Christianity, is the Tomb of Christ, located within the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The church was built around the tomb by Constantine. Pilgrims can see the place where Jesus' body was laid as well as a piece of the stone that was rolled away. An alternative site is the Garden Tomb outside the walls, which has less claims to authenticity but is popular especially with Protestant pilgrims.
Jesus appeared to his disciples and others in various places and times after his resurrection. The first time was to two disciples on the road to Emmaus, who did not recognize their Lord at first. Lk 24
|The site of Emmaus Nikopolis, 18 miles from Jerusalem on the road to Jaffa, has been identified as the biblical Emmaus since as early as the 3rd century. However, its authenticity is unlikely. Today there are ruins of a Byzantine-Crusader basilica and a museum on the site.|
|Post-Resurrection Appearance |
The third time Jesus appeared was on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, where he helped Peter and other disciples catch a netful of fish, then shared breakfast with them.
|Church of the Primacy of Peter |
A Franciscan chapel stands on the site of a 4th-century church just offshore near Tabgha. A large rock is revered as the place where Jesus laid out fish and bread for his disciples, and reinstated Peter with the words "Feed my sheep."
"When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. He was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy." Lk 24:50-51; Acts 1:9-11
|Chapel of the Ascension |
Mount of Olives, Jerusalem
The traditional site of Jesus' ascension into heaven after his Resurrection is marked by the Chapel and Mosque of the Ascension on the Mount of Olives. The chapel includes an impression of Christ's footprint.
Below is an illustrated index of the 23 Footsteps of Jesus profiled on Sacred Destinations so far. For photo credits, please see corresponding articles.
Featured All Footsteps of Jesus Sites
Bethany-Beyond-the-JordanJordanThe area known as Wadi Kharrar has long been believed to be the biblical Bethany-beyond-the-Jordan, where John the Baptist lived and Jesus was baptized.
Church of the NativityBethlehem, West BankThis is a major Christian holy site that marks the traditional place of Christ's birth. It is also one of the oldest surviving Christian churches, commissioned by Emperor Constantine.
Church of the Loaves and FishesTabgha, IsraelThis church commemorates the Feeding of the Five Thousand and includes a portion of rock where the miraculous meal was laid. The Byzantine-style church preserves splendid 5th-century mosaics.
All All Footsteps of Jesus Sites (View on Map)
Church of the NativityBethlehem, West Bank
Church of the Loaves and FishesTabgha, Israel
Tomb of Lazarus, BethanyJerusalem
Chapel of the AscensionJerusalem
Church of All NationsJerusalem
Church of the Holy SepulchreJerusalem
Church of the Pater NosterJerusalem
Church of Dominus FlevitJerusalem
Last Supper RoomJerusalem
Pool of SiloamJerusalem
Church of St. AnneJerusalem
Jesus Boat MuseumGalilee, Israel
Mount of BeatitudesTabgha, Israel
Church of the Primacy of PeterTabgha, Israel