Lake genezareth

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Lake genezareth
Lake Tiberias (Sea of ​​Galilee), Northern Israel.jpg
Satellite photo
Geographical location Middle East , Israel
Tributaries Upper Jordan
Drain Lower Jordan
Places on the shore Tiberias
Coordinates 32 ° 49 ′  N , 35 ° 36 ′  E Coordinates: 32 ° 49 ′  N , 35 ° 36 ′  E
Sea of ​​Galilee (Israel)
Lake genezareth
Depth below sea level 212.07  m below sea level
surface 166 km²
length 21 km
width 13 km
volume 4 km³
scope 53 km
Maximum depth 43 m
Middle deep 25.6 m
Catchment area 2730 km²


deepest freshwater lake, monomictic

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The lake Genezareth or after the Loccumer guidelines See Gennesaret also See Gennessaret or lake Genesareth ( Hebrew : ים כנרת, Jam Kineret ; Aramaic : יַמּא דטבריא; גִּנֵּיסַר; . Arab : بحيرة طبريا, Buhajrat Tabarijja ) is located in Northern Israel in the upper Jordan Valley , the northern continuation of the Great African Rift Valley .

At 212 meters below sea level, the lake is the deepest freshwater lake on earth. After the Dead Sea (around 420 meters below sea level) it is the second deepest standing body of water on earth.


Other names in German are Galiläisches Meer , See von Tiberias or Tiberiassee . At Graetz and elsewhere it is also called Harfensee . A popular explanation of the name claims that the name is Hebrew ים כנרתJam Kinneret means "sea of harps " (from kinnor , harp), after the shape that is reminiscent of a harp . In fact, the name is derived from the most important Bronze Age city on the shores of the lake, the Phoenician Kinneret in the northwest .

The Arabic nameبحيرة طبريا / Buḥayrat Ṭabariyā orبحر طبريا / Baḥr Ṭabariyā means "Lake of Tiberias" or "Sea of ​​Tiberias". In the Middle Ages the Arabs named the lake "Sea of ​​Minya" after the then important Umayyad complex of Khirbet Minya . Thus, the rule holds that in the course of its history the lake was mostly named after the most important settlement on its shore.


Lake genezareth

The Sea of ​​Galilee is - depending on the water level - up to 21 km long, at its widest point 13 km wide, its water surface is 166 km², its circumference 53 km. The depth is at the deepest point 43 m. The Sea of ​​Galilee is not the deepest lake below sea ​​level . The bottom of other freshwater lakes is much lower below sea level (see above all Lake Baikal ).

The most important tributary is the Jordan , which comes from the Hule Basin in the north . To the south, the river continues to flow towards the Dead Sea. The point of influence and discharge have shifted several times over the past 2000 years due to earthquakes . The Jordan Valley is part of the superordinate Great African Rift Valley, which extends to East Africa and is called the East African Rift there. Due to the strong tectonics , hot springs emerge from the ground in various places, including Tiberias , Tabgha , Fuliya and Hamat Gader . These hot springs made the lake a popular recreational destination even in ancient times.

Directly on the shores of the lake are a number of villages, the largest being Tiberias in the southwest. In the north are Tabgha , the Mount of Beatitudes , Capernaum and Bethsaida , among others . In the east, the Golan Heights join with the Yehudiya and Meschuschim wadis . The Syrian Golan has been occupied by Israel since the Six Day War in 1967 and has been a disputed area ever since. On the east side of the lake there are several cities of the Decapolis near the present-day Israeli- Jordanian border .


In the north-west of the lake remains of the city of Kinneret, known from Egyptian tradition, were found, which researchers dated to the Middle and Younger Bronze Age . To the west the late antique synagogue of Chorvat Kur was discovered . The Sea of ​​Galilee is on the former Roman road Via Maris , which connected Egypt with the more northern Roman provinces.

In 1909, Jewish pioneers built the first collective rural settlement in Israel , the Kibbutz Degania Aleph. Today the Sea of ​​Galilee is a very popular holiday area. Because of its many historical and spiritual places, about one million local and foreign tourists visit the lake annually. In the 1980s and 1990s, the German biblical archaeologist Volkmar Fritz led excavations on the lake.

Biblical references

The area around the lake plays an important role in the New Testament . Many Gospel stories are localized here, the area was a center of Jesus' ministry and the place where the Risen One appeared . In the north there are many places where Jesus worked: Tabgha , the Mount of Beatitudes , Capernaum and Bethsaida .

Panoramic photo of the lake, view over Kinneret to the south

Economical meaning

The Sea of ​​Galilee is rich in fish. Most of the fishermen come from Tiberias, Migdal and the kibbutzim En Gev and Ginnossar . The economically interesting fish include the Sarotherodon galilaeus , which is called musht in Arabic and which many pilgrims and tourists know as "Petrusfish", as well as the Kinneret sardine ( Acanthobrama terrae-sanctae ). Agriculture is also important because of the warm, humid climate around the lake. In addition, tourism is an important economic factor.

The lake forms the largest freshwater reservoir in Israel. In 1964 the National Water Carrier was built, one of the largest water distribution systems in the world. A pump system under the ancient Kinneret can pump out 28 m³ of water per second . In summer, this causes the lake's water level to drop by one centimeter per day. The water flows through an open canal, is purified in the valley of Bet Netofa in Galilee and brought to drinking water quality. Then it flows through a pipeline with a diameter of 2.75 m into the greater Tel Aviv area and on to the southern Negev desert .

Water level indicator on the Sea of ​​Galilee

The lake level can drop sharply due to the withdrawal of water and several years of low rainfall in a row. Even in spring, the level for low water of –213 m (the so-called “red line”) can hardly be exceeded. The high water mark of –208 m was last reached in the winter of 1991/1992. A low water level is critical because the deep water of the lake is salt water and is only covered by a layer of fresh water. In addition, more salt water would get into the lake from salty deep springs, as the back pressure drops as the level drops. If the water level sinks too far and the freshwater layer becomes too thin, the lake can tilt and become completely salty, which would have drastic ecological and economic consequences. For this reason, water abstraction will be greatly reduced once the “red line” has been reached, and campaigns in the media will encourage the population to use drinking water sparingly. According to Professor Uri Schany , Director of the Israeli Water Administration , the water withdrawal from the lake must be completely stopped when the "black line" is reached at a level of -214.87 m. Israel is trying to compensate for the reduced water abstraction from the lake with treated wastewater or water from seawater desalination plants such as in Ashkelon as well as fresh water imports with tankers from Turkey. In spring 2020 the lake was almost completely filled.

Some water levels are:

date Level in meters comment
1969 -208.20 Peak
2001 -214.87 Depression
April 12, 2020 -209.01 highest level since 2004


Web links

Commons : Sea of ​​Galilee  - Collection of Images, Videos and Audio Files

Individual evidence

  1. Biblical city from the Iron Age discovered: Kinneret ( Memento of the original from January 8, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. Gennesareth in the Bible
  3. Level of the Sea of ​​Galilee at its highest level since 2004. , March 26, 2020, accessed on March 27, 2020 .
  4. Level of the Sea of ​​Galilee at its highest level since 2004. , March 26, 2020, accessed on March 27, 2020 . Israel's Sea of ​​Galilee inches closer to upper red line threshold., April 12, 2020, accessed on April 12, 2020 .