CAESAREA MARITIMA

Caesarea Travel Blog

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Caesarea Maritima, called Caesarea Palaestine, was a city built by Herod the Great about 25–13 BC. Today, the city lies on the Mediterranean coast of Israel about halfway between the modern cities of Tel Aviv and Haifa, on the site of Pyrgos Stratonos ("Strato" or "Straton's Tower", in Latin Turris Stratonis). Caesarea Maritima should not be confused with other cities named to flatter the Caesar: Caesarea Philippi in the Golan Heights or Caesarea Mazaca in Anatolian Cappadocia. The city was described in detail by the 1st century Roman Jewish historian Josephus.

Herod built his palace on a promontory jutting out into the sea, with a decorative pool surrounded by stoas.
In 13 BCE, Caesarea became the civilian and military capital of Judaea, and the official residence of the Roman procurators and governors, Pontius Pilatus, praefectus and Antonius Felix. Remains of the principal buildings erected by Herod and the medieval town are still visible today, including the city walls, the castle and a Crusader cathedral and church.

Archaeological excavations in the 1950s and 1960s uncovered remains from many periods, in particular, a complex of Crusader fortifications and a Roman theatre. Other buildings include a temple dedicated to Caesar; a hippodrome rebuilt in the 2nd century as a more conventional amphitheater; the Tiberieum, which has a limestone block with a dedicatory inscription [2]that is the only secular record of Pontius Pilate; a double aqueduct that brought water from springs at the foot of Mount Carmel; a boundary wall; and a 200 ft (60 m) wide moat protecting the harbour to the south and west.
The harbor at Caesarea
The harbor was the largest on the eastern Mediterranean coast. Caesarea grew rapidly, becoming the largest city in Judea, with an estimated population of 125,000 over an urban area of 3.7 square kilometers.

In 66 CE, a massacre of Jews here and the desecration of the local synagogue led to the disastrous Jewish revolt.

Vespasian declared it a colony and renamed it Colonia Prima Flavia Augusta Caesarea.

Early Christian mentions of Caesarea in the apostolic period follow the acts of Peter who established the church there when he baptized Cornelius the Centurion. The Apostle Paul often sojourned there, and was imprisoned at Caesarea for two years before being taken to Rome.

Caesarea lay in ruins until its resettlement by the Ottomans as Kaisariyeh in 1884, after which the ruins were much damaged. In the 1950s and 60s, modern archaeology uncovered details of Crusader ramparts and the theater of the Roman city. More recent work has filled out the picture.

Caesarea has recently become the site of what bills itself as the world's first underwater museum, where 36 points of interest on four marked underwater trails through the ancient harbor can be explored by divers equipped with waterproof maps.
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The harbor at Caesarea
The harbor at Caesarea
The theatre at Caesarea
The theatre at Caesarea
The theatre at Caesarea
The theatre at Caesarea
The theatre at Caesarea
The theatre at Caesarea
john and ashley
john and ashley
The harbor at Caesarea
The harbor at Caesarea
Caesarea
photo by: more_vnutri