Caesarea City

Caesarea 400
Caesarea ruins
Photo by: heartkernel, Creative Commons

Caesarea is an ancient port city in Israel. It is also the place where the King Herod ruled from 23 to 13 BC. The city was built atop the Strotonospyrgos (Straton’s Tower) and is believed to have been an agricultural storehouse in earlier times.

The city saw major changes during the reign of Herod the Great, who had renamed the city to honor the emperor. Around 22 BC the city featured a number of constructions that included the deep sea harbor, storerooms, markets, roads, baths, and temples to Augustus and Rome. Every five years, the city hosted a number of major events that included the gladiator games, sports competitions, and theatre.

At the time of Byzantine period the city flourished. In the year 1251 the city was fortified by the Emperor Louis IX, and a number of massive walls bounded by a moat have been constructed. But these walls were destroyed by Baybar, the Sultan of Egypt when he attacked the Caesarea city.

In the 19th century the city was in ruinous state due to the Qisarya settlements. A fishing village and a railway line were also built here in the year 1948. In the year 1948, Caesarea was destroyed as a part of Arab-Israeli War and the people had moved to the nearby places for their livelihood.

In the present day, Caesarea has developed to a large extent. A number of industrial parks are located here and also it consists of 170 companies with 6000 employees. Also the city features several museums, theatres, open universities, golf clubs and hotels. It is also a major tourist attraction and is mostly famous its ancient ruins which include:

Herod’s Harbor
It was built by Herod the Great. The harbor was built using concrete and it covers an area of about 40 acres. The harbor has a capacity of accommodating 300 ships which is also larger than the present day harbors.

The Amphitheatre
A theatre, with a 3500 seating capacity, was built overlooking the Mediterranean. It is also the place where Herod the Great died.

The Aqueduct
One of the massive bridges was the main water source for the city.

Promontory Palace
It is considered as one of the beautiful palaces of that time. The pool here is located close to the sea and it featured an ancient statue.

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