"Caesarea - Harbour town of Herod" Caesarea by gubbi1
Caesarea Travel Guide: 92 reviews and 307 photos
A small settlement called Straton's Tower was built at the coast during Persian rule (586-332 BCE) which later under Roman rule was given to Herod as the governor. In the time of Herod the town was massively enlarged into a porttown with a huge cultural infrastructure with a hippodrom, theater, temple etc. Herodes named it Caesarea in honour of Octavian Augustus Caesar who was his patron.
More and more people moved here and the town grew becoming increasingly important. Since the 6 BCE Caesarea was the headquarter of the Roman government in Palestine. With the destruction of Jerusalem during revolts years later, Caesarea became the most important city in the country. Up to the Arab conquest in 640 CE the town prospered, but then lost its significance. Only for a shorter time during the time of the Crusaders Caesarea gained importance with a stronger fortification, but then got destroyed and forgotten. It only served as a source for stones and building material, what causes that nowadays you will find columns of Caesarea in other historical sites like Akko.
Attractions in the National Park:
The theater in Caesarea is in a very good shape, as the seats seem to be restored. It is pretty large and the most ancient in Israel. 4000 spectators could find place in it. According to the flyer, which is handed out at the entrance, the theater was converted into a castle towards the end of the Byzantine periode. After the Arab conquer it was deserted as the rest of the town.
The Amphitheater is a huge and long structure between the harbour and the theater. A long row of seats can be seen along the impressive arena floor. Walking along there you can clearly imagine spectacles taking place.
- Promontory Palace:
The palace is located directly at the coast. A pool can be seen. Close to the palace ruins you can find a replica of a stone with the enscription of the name 'Pontius Pilatus'. When found, it was an important piece for scientist who had difficulties to find real evidence for the existence of Pontius Pilatus.
- Temple Platform:
There are ruins of a temple platform on which a temple dedicated to Roma and Augustus was built. In later periodes other religious buildings were erected here, a mosque and a cathedral.
- Other ruins:
Walking around you will find many other ruins and remains from the many periodes. There is a fortified medieval city, a network of streets from the roman and byzantine time and so on.
The harbour had a 400 meter long outer quay, an inner quay and an area where the boats could set the anchor. It was built during the rule of Herod and made Caesarea an important town. Nowadays not much is seen above the surface, but for divers it is possible to visit the remains hidden under water.
Outside of the National Park area you can visit the remains of an aqueduct. It is located on the beach and signs will lead you here.
In the commercial and administrative are you will find some nice mosaics, which are worth to be seen. Keep your eyes... more travel advice
The harbour had a 400 meter long outer quay, an inner quay and an area where the boats could set the anchor. It was... more travel advice
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