The exact location of Cana has been subject to debate among scholars. Locations which are candidates for historical Cana are:
Kafr Kanna, in the Galilee
Khirbet Qana, also called Kana-al-Jalil, also in the Galilee
Ain Qana, Israel
Qana, Southern Lebanon.
According to the Catholic Encycopedia of 1914, a tradition dating back to the 8th century identifies Cana with the modern Arab town of Kafr Kanna, in the Galilee, about 7 km northeast of Nazareth, Israel. Other suggested the ruined village of Khirbet Qana, also called Kana-al-Jalil, about 9 km further north, and Ain Qana, in Israel, which is closer to Nazareth and considered to be a better candidate on historical grounds. Some Christians, especially Lebanese Christians, believe that the southern Lebanese village of Qana is the actual location for the first public miracle by Jesus when He turned water into wine.
The other biblical references to Cana is when Jesus was visiting Cana and was asked by Nathanael (Bartholomew) to heal the son of a royal official at Capernaum.
Both Magdala in Aramaic and Migdal in Hebrew mean “tower”. The discovery of the massive foundations of a tower may account for the city’s name. Magdala was a major first-century port on the Sea of Galilee, a centre of trade and commerce, and an exporter of salted fish to markets as far away as Europe. The city, on the western side of the Sea of Galilee between Tiberias and Capernaum, is mentioned only once in the New Testament, saying that Jesus went there by boat — but some Greek manuscripts say that the name is Magaden and not Magdala. Magdala’s fame down the centuries rested on one notable person, Mary Magdalene. It is unclear whether she lived as well as was born there. She was a wealthy woman and revered as a saint by the Orthodox, Catholic, Anglican and Lutheran churches. She was one of the few named in the Gospels as being present at Christ’s crucifixion and the first to witness his Resurrection. Mary was called ‘apostle of the apostles’. The city that gave its name to Mary Magdalene became a fortified base for rebels during the First Jewish Revolt in AD 66-70, even engaging the Romans in a disastrous sea battle. What really became of Mary? A Greek tradition has her dying in Ephesus, with her relics preserved in Constantinople. A French tradition says she converted Provence to Christianity and her relics ended up in Vézelay Abbey in Burgundy, where they are still venerated. In the 4th century a church was built on the site of Mary Magdalene’s house, but was destroyed in the 7th century and rebuilt by the Crusaders in the 12th century. It was converted into a stable when the Crusaders were expelled from the Holy Land. Beginning in the 1960s, Franciscan archaeologists discovered Magdala’s ancient port and a city grid, with paved streets, water canals, a marketplace, villas and mosaics — one depicting a sailing boat. Buried in the mud covering a thermal bath complex were ceramic crockery, perfume jars, bronze applicators for make-up as well as jewelry hairbrushes and combs. More archaeological remains were uncovered in 2009 on an adjacent property newly acquired by the Legion of Christ to establish a hotel as well as an institute for women and retreat center. The Legion, a Catholic congregation, manages the Notre Dame Center in Jerusalem. In 2014 the Legion opened a new church on the site, simple in design but also rich in mosaics and murals, focusing especially on women in the Bible. It is named Duc In Altum and has an altar is in the shape of a first-century boat, standing in front of an infinity pool, leading the eye to the lake beyond. The Ancient Galilee Boat, known as the Jesus Boat, was discovered in 1986 nearby.
This Sea port was mentioned from the mid of the third century B.C. It was known as “Straton Tower” and was governed by various rulers including Cleopatra. In 31 B.C., when Caesar Augustus turned it over to Herod the Great, the later renamed it Caesarea and converted it to a Roman style city with a surrounding wall, deep water sea port, an aqua duct that supplied fresh water from springs at the foothills of mount Carmel, a royal palace, administrative centre, a theatre, an amphitheater and a magnificent temple dedicated to Augustus, which overlooked out over the harbor. After Herod Agrippa I (37-44 A.D.), the province was ruled by many procurators sent from Rome, among them was Pontius Pilate (A.D.26-31). There the disciple Peter preached the gospel to Cornelius, a Roman Centurion stationed at Caesarea. Also Paul was imprisoned at Caesarea before being sent to Rome. Having a mixed population of Gentile and Jews, many disputes arose, one which sparked the first Jewish revolt in (A.D.66). The revolt ended in disaster for the Jews, who were driven out of Jerusalem, and their temple was destroyed in (A.D.70). Three years later after the destruction of Jerusalem, Masada fell. Durning the Christian rule of the Byzantine emperor from the fourth through the mid seventh century Caesarea was an important centre for Christian learning. In A.D.230, Origen established a school where he taught.
Baniyas (Caesarea Philippi):
Baniyas is an ancient Roman city located at the south-western base of Mount Hermon. It was adjacent to a spring, grotto and related shrines dedicated to the Greek god Pan. During the Hellenic period it was called “Paneas,” which was mutated in time to Banias, as we know it today. It should not be confused with Baniyas in north western Syria. In 20 B.C. Caesar Augustus awarded this area to Herod the great as a repayment for his loyalty. Herod built a temple to Augustus (the Augusterion) at the entrance of the grotto/cave. Philip the son of Herod the great (also known as Philip the Tetrarch) founded the city of Paneas (Baniyas) and made it into the administrative capital of his tetrarchy (Quarter Kingdom). He named it (Caesarea Philippi) to honor the great emperor Caesar Augustus, who was the Roman ruler at that time. In order to distinguish this new Caesarea from the magnificent city of Caesarea that Herod the Great (Philip’s father) built on the Mediterranean coast (Caesarea, Maritima), the new city was called Caesarea Philippi, meaning Philip’s Caesarea.
Additional features were added to the area over time, such as a shrine dedicated to Pan and the nymphs, a temple to Zeus and Pan, an open air shrine (called The Nemesis Court),and a structure that the excavators called “Temple of Pan and the Goats”. This region was mentioned only once in the gospel as the location of the story of when Jesus asked his disciples “Who do men think I am”?.
When nearing the Baniyas vicinity, Mount Hermon is seen with Qala’t Nimrud (Nimrud Castle), that was built and commanded by the Crusaders in 1130 then later was lost, along with Baniyas, to Nur-Edin in 1164.
The castle was destroyed most probably by the Mogul invaders in 1260. The name Nimrod (mighty hunter) was mentioned in Genesis, and according to the legend, Nimrod built the castle on a high hill so he could shoot his arrows into the sky to prove his might and strength to God.
was arrested and tortured during the persecution of Decius in (A.D. 250)Eusebius who was one of Origen students became the bishop of Caesarea played a leading role in the Council of Nicaea and wrote a history of the early church .In (A.D.640) Caesarea was occupied by the Arabs, and declined rapidly under the caliphs rule, so when in 1101 the Crusaders occupied Caesarea they said to have found the (Holy Grail)( Sacro Catino) which is preserved today in the Cathedral of San Lorenzo in Genoa. In 1187 Caesarea was occupied and destroyed by Salahuddin, and was recovered by the third Crusaders in 1191thus remaining a key city for the Crusaders. Finally, in 1265 the city fell into the hands of the Mamluks and was turned into ruins the ruins which served as a quarry to the nearby villages. Over the past century many archaeologists excavated the ruins of Caesarea and discovered three different phases of history, (The Roman Period, The Byzantine Period and the Crusader Period