Tiberias - City of Israel
Tiberias is a town on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee, Lower Galilee, Israel. It was named in honour of the emperor Tiberius.
ISRAEL National Animal : Mountain Gazelle
Tiberias was established in around AD 20 by Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great, it became the capital of his realm in Galilee. It was named in honor of Antipas' patron, the Roman Emperor Tiberius. There is a myth that the site was of the destroyed village of Rakkat. Josephus describes the building of Tiberias by Herod Antipas near a village called Emmaus in The Antiquities of the Jews. Also in The Wars of the Jews Flavius Josephus refers to it as Emmaus.
During Antipas's time, the Jews refused to settle there; the presence of a cemetery rendered the site ritually unclean. Antipas settled predominantly non-Jews there from rural Galilee and other parts of his domains in order to populate his new capital, and Antipas furthermore built a palace on the acropolis. The prestige of Tiberias was so great that the sea of Galilee soon came to be call the sea of Tiberias.
During the First Crusade it was occupied by the Franks, soon after the capture of Jerusalem and it was given in fief to Tancred who made it his capital of the Principality of Galilee in the Kingdom of Jerusalem; the region was sometimes called the Principality of Tiberias, or the Tiberiad.In 1099 the original site of the city was abandoned, and settlement shifted north to the present location.
Today all that remains of historic Tiberias is a few parts of the historic wall, the result of the 1948 Israeli government policy. The Old City, with all its historical buildings and nearly all its historical walls, was entirely erased, and in its place today there are parking lots and modern Old City high-rise hotels.
A single mosque remains, though boarded up and not open to visitors. During the October 2000 events, at the outbreak of the Second Intifada, a mob of extreme right Israelis twice attacked the mosque, attempted to set it on fire, and added to the damage it suffered in 1948 and which was never repaired.