Caesarea Philippi lies in a beautiful area on the southern slopes of Mount Hermon and on one of the three sources of the Jordan River, the Wadi Banias. The name Banias derives from the Arabic difficulty in pronouncing Paneas (meaning “Pan’s Place”). The site is close to the Syrian border.
Today the remains can be seen of an ancient sanctuary dedicated to the Greek God Pan.
Sanctuary of Pan
It is therefore interesting to note that it was here in Caesarea Philippi that the apostle Peter confessed Jesus to be “the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:13-16 and Mark 8:27-29). Then Jesus replied: “Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.”
What to see at Caesarea Philippi
The remains of the sanctuary dedicated to Pan caved into the cliff side.
A Muslim shrine built over the grave of the Prophet Elijah.
Nimrod’s Fortress can be seen 1,5 km northeast of Banias.
How to get there?
From Tiberias and the Sea of Galilea drive on Route 90 northwards to Kiryat Shmona (55km from Tiberias) where you turn right onto the Route 99 to Banias.