"Apollonia National Park" Herzliya by gubbi1
Herzliya Travel Guide: 89 reviews and 228 photos
After spending 2 fantastic weeks in Israel I was now on my way towards Tel Aviv to stay the last two nights before flying home. Almost half of the National Parks I have visited and now with a kind of sad feeling knew that this would be my last one for the holidays. So I parked my car and as usual showed my two week ticket at the entrance. With the flyer handed out here I started my expedition into this small but interesting National Park.
The long history of Apollonia started about 2500 years ago. Phoenicians founded a settlement here which they called Arsuf. Between the fourth and first century BCE during the Hellenistic Periode the residents renamed the place to Apollonia. Starting with the romans from the first to the third century Apollonia became a city. In the early islamic periode (7th to 11th century) the town was renamed again back to Arsuf. With the fall of Jerusalem the crusaders now tried to conquer Arsuf but failed in their first attempt. But in 1101 the city was conquered by crusader King Baldwin I. In their hands Apollonia was fortified with a moat and stronger walls. The next hundred years Apollonia changed its rulers several times between crusaders and muslims. In 1241 crusaders started to build the fortress. With increasing preassure by mameluke forces and a forty days long war the crusaders made an agreement which would allow them to surrender, but the mameluke took them as prisoner and burned the fortress. This was the end of it, the site became abandoned.
Things to see here:
Just after entering the park you pass the Southern Moat which was part of the Crusader fortifications of the city. Its size is about four meters deep and ten meters wide.
Roman Villa: Pretty close to the entrance you will pass excavated structures. A sign at the site says that the walls were built during the Early Islamic Periode and reinforced when the crusader town was founded. The roman villa existed here in the first and second century. Its architecture was traditional with an open central courtyard.
Water Reservoirs: When walking on the Sea Path you will pass several reservoirs that were used to collect rain water. Access to water was important especially if you keep in mind the various sieges that were held here.
Ottoman Lime Kiln: During the ottoman periode this lime kiln was used to burn lime limestone for the construction of buildings. The fire was burning in the structure that you can see today, while the lime stone was placed ontop of the roof. After four to six days the stones were ready.
Crusaders Fortress: Center piece of the national park is for sure the Crusader Fortress. Here quite some structures are left, but the bridge that you will use is not the one that was used in the past. Approaching the visitor bridge you can see parts of the old bridge. In the fortress you can still find ballista stones and traces of the fire which the mameluke set here to destroy the place. You will also find a kitchen with five stoves, a room with grinding installation, storages and a courtyard.
Fortress Model: There is a model that shows you how the fortress looked like.
- Pros:Very interesting place close to Tel Aviv.
When you visit the National Park you most probably have noticed chimneys and high buildings. But here in the park you... more travel advice
Center piece of the national park is for sure the Crusader Fortress. Here quite some structures are left, but the bridge... more travel advice
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