CROSSROADS OF JEWISH AND CHRISTIAN HISTORYLugar de encuentro de la historia Judía y Cristiana

The Magdala development timeline

Circa 40-60 BCE

Magdala develops from a small village into a prosperous city known for fish salting and boat-building.

August 67 CE

Roman General Vespasian destroys Magdala (Taricheae) during the Great Jewish War.


German Catholic families start a new settlement at Magdala.


Zionist Jews from Russia purchase the property from the Germans to teach Jewish people agricultural techniques. Most of the inhabitants are occupied in the farming industry. They grow olives, citrus crops of all kinds, dates, mangoes, avocados and many other fruits.


Franciscans purchase property to the south where subsequently 1700 years of archaeology is discovered.


Entrepreneurs erect Hawaii Beach Resort, to the north, featuring holiday cabins on the site.

November 17, 2004

During a meditation on the site of Peter’s Primacy the idea is conceived to build a pilgrimage center on the shore of the Sea of Galilee.

Sea of Galilee

March 31, 2005

First visit to the Magdala site.

January 19, 2006

Acquisition of the first parcel of land for Magdala (Hawaii Beach).

June 10, 2006

Initial major benefactors attended the first celebration of mass at Magdala for the Feast of the Holy Trinity.

August 3, 2006

Acquisition of the second parcel of land for Magdala.


November 10, 2006

Italian architects Carlo and Francesco Giardino prepare the first architectural project.

March 8, 2008

The Magdala project is presented to Israeli authorities for the first time to obtain the construction permit.

September 12, 2008

The Israeli Ministry of Tourism selects Magdala to receive a grant that will cover part of the construction cost.

November 11, 2008

Acquisition of the third parcel of land for Magdala.

March 19, 2009

Preliminary approval by the Government of Israel for the construction permit.


March 25, 2009

Acquisition of the fourth parcel of land for Magdala.

May 11, 2009

During his apostolic visit to the Holy Land, Pope Benedict XVI blesses the cornerstone for Magdala.

July 2, 2009

Construction permit is granted.

July 27, 2009

Israeli Antiquities Authority archaeologists, Dina Avshalom-Gorni and Arfan Najjar, begin a five-month mandatory excavation at Magdala (July through November).

September 1, 2009

Discovery of the First Century Synagogue at Magdala.


December 30, 2009

Construction of the guesthouse, restaurant, and Duc In Altum begins.

July 1, 2010

Archaeologist, Marcela Zapata-Meza, and her team from the Mexican universities, Universidad Anáhuac México Sur and Universidad Autónoma de Mexico (UNAM), together with volunteers from around the world, begin work to uncover the ancient city of Magdala.


May 26, 2014

During his apostolic visit to Jerusalem, Pope Francis blesses the Tabernacle now located in the Boat Chapel of Duc In Altum.

May 28, 2014

Inauguration of the Archaeological Park and dedication of Duc In Altum.

December, 2016

Magdala receives 76,157 pilgrims and visitors from 85 countries for the year. Tripadvisor awards 2016 Certificate of Excellence.

December, 2017

Magdala receives over 134,400 pilgrims and visitors. Tripadvisor awards 2017 Certificate of Excellence.

August, 2018

Magdala receives Tripadvisor 2018 Travelers’ Choice Award: Top 25 Middle East Landmark.

*Projected Opening: 2019*


Contact Information

Operating Hours
All year: Monday - Sunday 08:00 – 18:00

Magdala (near present day Migdal) is located on the western coastline of the Sea of Galilee (Kinneret) and at the eastern foothills of Mount Arbel. Read More

Migdal Junction, P.O. Box 366, 1495000 Migdal, Israel

+972 4 620 9900

Volunteer guided tours: or call 053-226-1469

Mass or Prayer service reservations: or call 053-444-6406

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