Located in the Golan Heights, Kursi has one of the most phenomenal views of Tiberias and overlooks the entire Sea of Galilee. This site is identified with the story of the swine described in Matthew 8, Mark 5 and Luke 8.
“When He came to the other side into the country of the Gadarenes, two men who were demon-possessed met Him as they were coming out of the tombs. They were so extremely violent that no one could pass by that way. And they cried out, saying, "What business do we have with each other, Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?” Now there was a herd of many swine feeding at a distance from them. The demons began to entreat Him, saying, "If You are going to cast us out, send us into the herd of swine." And He said to them, "Go!" And they came out and went into the swine, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and perished in the waters.” Matthew 8:28-32
The excavations at Kursi restored ruins of a 5th or 6th century CE church and monastery, which is the largest Byzantine monastery in Israel. Protecting the monastery is a surrounding stone wall and a watchtower facing the Sea of Galilee. Christian pilgrims would have arrived in boats to the small harbor and would have traveled a paved road to the monastery. Inside are two rows of eight stone columns with crosses carved in them. On the northern wing was an oil press and on the south of the church was a chapel with mosaics. Also discovered were the living quarters for the monks and visiting pilgrims. The monastery was damaged by an earthquake in the middle of the 8th century and abandoned. The site is now one of Israel’s national parks and is a must see on your visit in Israel.