Caesarea Travel Blog› entry 11 of 15 › view all entries
November 16th, 2005 – by: mellemel8
Herod built his palace on a promontory jutting out into the sea, with a decorative pool surrounded by stoas.
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 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.
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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