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Caesarea


Caesarea Caesarea

Caesarea is the city Herod the Great dedicated to Caesar Augustus more than 2,000 years ago. Today it is a fast-growing coastal resort and one of Israel’s major tourist destinations, attracting history lovers from around the world. Caesarea is also one of the top archeological sites in the country. The Roman city was built in 22 BC over the site of a Phoenician port and was home to the Roman governors of Judea, making it the local Roman capital.
Today it boasts the Roman remains of an aqueduct, hippodrome and amphitheatre. The hippodrome is now a rectangular ploughed field; however, you can still see what was once an arena capable of holding 20,000 spectators for chariot races. The amphitheater is a venue still very much in use, frequently staging concerts. The structure offers visitors a rare chance to appreciate the Romans’ building expertise and enjoy an important relic of their Empire. The aqueduct, near the sea, was built in the 2nd century and carried water from mountain springs to Caesarea. Also on view are Emperor Hadrian’s statue and two white, headless marble statues, thought to be of two Roman emperors, though of whom no one is certain.
To visit the Crusader city, surrounded by walls and open only to the sea, you enter through the East gate, built in the 12th century. In 1101 the Crusaders discovered what they believed to be the Holy Grail. Other sights: the church built over Caesar’s temple, and the mosque constructed by the Turks in the 19th century. There are also many shops and restaurants offering present-day entertainment.

Caesarea, the Roman capital of Israel.