Kursi, along the eastern shores of the Sea of Galilee, is identified in Christian tradition with Gadarenes, where the Miracle of the Swine took place. A large church and monastery stood at the site in the Byzantine period. It was destroyed by invading Persians in 614 C.E. and, after being rebuilt, it was destroyed by fire a short time later. The site remained neglected for most of the following 1,300 years.
In 1970 Kursi was rediscovered by accident in the course of construction. Archaeologists identified the site with Kurshi, a center of idol worship mentioned in the Talmud. Excavations later uncovered the ruins of the largest Byzantine monastery ever discovered in Israel, including a church, baptistery, oil press, fortifications and nearby chapel, possibly dedicated to the actual site of the miracle. There is also a mosaic floor. In the nearby chapel, thirty male skeletons were also discovered at the site, probably belonging to Byzantine monks.
The site is (almost) completely wheelchair accessible, although some help may be needed in the church.
Since being opened as a national park, Kursi has elicited considerable interest among Christian pilgrims. See Kursi National Park
Getting To Kursi
Road 92 – Sea of Galilee eastern coast road – 5Km north of Kibbutz Ein Gev
April–September: 8 A.M.–5 P.M.
October–March: 8 A.M.–4 P.M.
Fridays and holiday eves: 8 A.M.–4 P.M.
Last entry to site: One hour prior to closing hour