Also known as Khirbet Qana, Kh. Qana

Cana in the New Testament

Cana was the home of Nathaniel, one of the twelve disciples (John 21:2). Cana was also the location of Jesus’s first miracle (John 2:1-11). Jesus later returned to Cana, and from here he healed the son of the Capernaum official (John 4:46-54). Cana is known as “Cana of Galilee” to distinguish it from Kanah of Asher in the region of Tyre (Josh 19:28). This photograph shows Khirbet Qana, the most likely location of biblical Cana.

Identifying Biblical Cana

The location of biblical Cana is disputed, with four sites claiming to be the location of Jesus’ first miracle. Of those locations, the two best candidates are Khirbet Qana and Kefar Kenna. Josephus locates Cana near the plain of Asochis (Bet Netofa Valley), a one-day walk from Tiberias. Khirbet Qana preserves the name of Cana and fits Josephus’ description as being near a valley. Khirbet Qana is located 8 miles (13 km) northeast of Nazareth and 5 miles (8 km) northeast of Sepphoris. This photograph shows the ancient site of Cana from the south, with olive trees in the Bet Netofa Valley in the foreground.

The Location of Cana

Khirbet Qana is located at Wadi Yodefat on the north edge of the Beth Netofa Valley. The site occupies a 330-foot (99 m) high hill, about 5 miles (8 km) northeast of Sepphoris. Explorers in the 19th century reported the remains of a large village on “Jebel Qana.” The largest building on the site was located on the northwest side of the village. This photograph shows Khirbet Qana from the west.


Many caves and cisterns are located on ancient site of Cana. A cave on the south slope was visited by Christian pilgrims who believed this was the place of Jesus’s first miracle. Graffiti, portions of stone vessels, and an altar decorated with crosses were discovered within the cave. On top of the hill a large structure 230 x 200 feet (69 x 60 m) may have served as a defensive wall in the 6th century AD. A Roman public building on the west side may be the earliest known Galilean synagogue. A building on the south slope is more recent and was built with stones taken from the Roman-Byzantine village.
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