When building a visitor centre on an archaeological site the best policy is assemble a group of experts and ask them to make a reconstruction of the original building. The worst policy is to invite a trendy designer to exercise his or her creative imagination. The Octagon Church at Capernaum shows ‘how not to do it’. The building dominates the ancient town. I find it no comfort at all that visitors can look through the glass floor and see the ruins of the octagonal church which the Byzantines built on the supposed ruins of St Peter’s House.
” According to Luke 4:31-44, Jesus taught in the synagogue in Capernaum on the sabbath days. In Capernaum also, Jesus allegedly healed a man who had the spirit of an unclean devil and healed a fever in Simon Peter’s mother-in-law. According to Matthew 8:5-13, it is also the place where a Roman Centurion asked Jesus to heal his servant… One block of homes, called by the Franciscan excavators the sacra insula or “holy insula” (“insula” refers to a block of homes around a courtyard) was found to have a complex history. ..The excavators concluded that one house in the village was venerated as the house of Peter the fisherman as early as the mid-first century AD, with two churches having been constructed over it (Lofreda, 1984).” Info from Wiki. Photo courtesy kokorokoko
There is a great need for landscape architects to become involved with archaeological sites. They are far too important to be left to the care of archaeologists.