Tiberias is considered one of the four holy cities, along with Jerusalem, Hebron, and Safed and is one of Israel’s most popular tourist destinations.
The city was founded in 20 AD by Herod Antipas and was named after the Roman emperor Tiberius.
According to Josephus, Antipas had trouble settling the city because it was built on top of a cemetery and was therefore considered an impure place.
So, Antipas settled the city with foreigners, the poor, freed slaves, and even forced Jews to immigrate to it.
After the Bar Kochba revolt, Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai cleansed the city of the dead, and the city was prepared for Jewish residence.
The purification of the city also allowed the Cohanim to live in the city, and a family of priests named “Maaziah” moved to live in the city.
In Jewish sources from this period to the period of the geniuses, Tiberias is also called the “State of Maazziah.”
Between the 2nd and 10th centuries was a religious center for all the Jews of the Land of Israel.
During the third century, the Sanhedrin, led by Rabbi Yehuda Nasiya, moved from Tzipori to Tiberias, inspired by Rabbi Yochanan, a great Amorite of the period, who established his seat there.
In the Babylonian Talmud the city is mentioned as the place of the Sanhedrin.
The great men of Israel at the time lived Teveria and were buried within its boundaries.
This including Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai and Rabbi Akiva, as well as Maimonides, who died in Egypt and was buried in Tiberias according to his will. These tombs are today places of pilgrimage.
During the Crusades, Tiberias served as the capital of the Crusader principality of the Galilee.
However, during the Battle of Karni Hittin in 1187 the city was destroyed and at the beginning ghe Ottoman period it was just a small village.
During the 18th century, it once again became an important center for the Jewish community.
Today, while its is not longer a major city, it is a popular tourist destination.
Visiting Tiberias (Teveria) is easy to do by both car and bus.
From Jerusalem you can take bus 961 from the 3rd floor of the Jerusalem Central Bus Station to Tiberias.
From Tel Aviv you can take bus 836 from the Arlozorov (or Tel Aviv Central Bus Station if need be) to Toberias.