Caesarea is called Keysarea in Hebrew. It is located north of Tel Aviv on the way to Haifa on the beautiful shores of the Mediterranean Sea.The ruins are an important tourist attraction to visitors to the Holy Land.
Next to the ruins lies a modern city with spectacular villas very popular among Israel’s elite and affluent.It is known that the only Golf Course in Israel is located here.
Aerial view of the ancient port
Places of interest
The ancient Amphitheater is used for concerts and great performances
The city also known as Caesarea Maritima was originally called Straton’s Tower after its founder Straton, a ruler of Sidon in the 4th Century BCE. In 96 BCE the city was captured by the Hasmonean lead by Alexander Yanai.
It remained in their hands until it was declared an independent city by Pompey. For a short period of history it was on the hands of Cleopatra, ruler of Egypt and later returned to King Herod by Augustus.
King Herod converted his city into a great city second only to Jerusalem in Palestine. He made a deep harbor, and aqueduct, a hippodrome and a magnificent amphitheater that you can visit today.
If you are a good singer you can do it here, as our friend Paco from Puerto Rico that went up and delighted us with an aria from Opera Carmen to the delight of the tourists visiting at the moment.
The Ruins of the Roman Port next to modern facilities for beach goers
History of Caesaria
It was populated half and half Jews and Gentiles and in 6CE it became the home of the Roman procurator of Judaea. It remained in Roman and Byzantine hands as their capital.
The aqueduct originally built in the First century BCE was repaired and expanded bringing waters from the Springs of Mount Carmel a few Km away.
The Great revolt of 66-70 EC which spread throughout the country was started when the Syrian and Jewish communities started a fight over some Pagan rites conducted on Shabbat.
When the revolt was finally controlled by the Roman and after Jerusalem was destroyed, they made Caesarea their capital.
It is known that in Caesarea is where Rabbi Akiva was tortured and executed following the Bar Kochba Revol.
The Roman Aqueduct has been preserved for centuries
Christian History of Caesarea
This is where Pontius Pilate governed in the time of Jesus. Later Simon Peter converted Cornelius, the first non-Jew to believe in Jesus. Paul was imprisoned here.
In general for centuries it was an important site of Christian learning, especially after converting to Christianity on the 4th Century.
The Muslim invaded in 640 CE in a swept of force over the Middle East and driving the romas out. In 1101 the Crusaders captured again the city for a short period of 86 years when Saladin took it from their hands.
I kept changing hands until the Mamluks Sultan of Egypt destroyed it and remained desolate until the end of the 19th Century.
The beautiful Beach of Keysaria on the shores of the Mediterranean
Nowadays tourists from all denominations flock to Caesarea. It is on the way to all places in the north and it is a great tourist attraction.
On the other hand the modern city is an elegant suburb of beautiful homes, fine restaurants and halls for weddings and other parties overlooking the Mediterranean.
amphitheater by eichler
beach by yulia kuprina
roman port by deror avi
All courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
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