November 17, 2019

Caeserea rich in archaeological excavations

Gate - Caesarea - Israel Gate - Caesarea - Israel © Thierry Tete | Dreamstime.com

Caesarea was a Herodian harbor City located on Israel’s Mediterranean Sea strip, the ruins of which now consist of the Caesarea National Park. If you’re looking for a place that has a rich history, impressive archaeological significance, and recreational activities all-in-one, this Park is for you! With the splendor of a mini Rome and a hint of remains from the Crusader period, this site has layers of history ready to be uncovered and explored!

 

History

Originally built by Herod the Great, a Roman ruler, in the 1st century B.C., the Caesarea city and harbor exhibited admirable Roman infrastructural brilliance and became highly populous during the 1st to 6th centuries A.D., after which it fell under Arab rule. Later, the Crusaders captured it and then the Mamluks, after which it was abandoned. Excavation of ruins started in the 1950s and continue up till date.

But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea. (Acts 8:40)

Religious significance

Caesarea has indispensable significance in Christianity, as Cornelius the Centurion converted to Christianity here (Acts 10 and 11). Furthermore, it was the resident place of Philip the Evangelist, Pontius Pilate, and the site of imprisonment of Apostle Paul (Acts 24).

 

Main Roman Attractions

Roman Theater

Imagine attending a concert at the exact theater that has amused spectators for the last 2000 years. This is exactly what the Roman theater at Caesarea brings you! Having been the venue for gladiator fights and sports performances in the Roman Era, this theater, with a capacity of over 3500 people, now witnesses concerts of bands from all over the world. Even though it has been rebuilt many times, the Roman foundational brickwork of the theater stands to this day! Not only this, but the view of the Mediterranean Sea from the top tiers of the theater is absolutely stunning!

Hippodrome

Also built by Herod, this quintessential Roman structure, with a capacity of over 10,000 spectators, was the central site of horse racing and other similar sports.

Caesarea Harbor

For those of you who are being dragged to this place by their families but have no interest in archaeology, worry no more! The harbor provides numerous adventurous activities that are likely to be on your bucket list – including SCUBA diving, kayaking, paddle boarding, and sailing!

 Herod’s Palace

This splendid palace had in its time a lavish pool, an ornamented dining quarter and a beautiful fountain. With a different story from multiple eras, this Palace was Herod’s residential area, as well as Pontius Pilate’s forty years later, in addition to being Apostle Paul’s site of imprisonment.

Temple for Augustus

This temple has almost entirely deteriorated and work is underway to excavate ruins of the temple.

 

Main Crusader Era Attractions:

Crusader Castle and City Walls

Some of the remains of the city walls are still present at the site, while most of it was destroyed by the Mamluks.

 Church and cathedral

Crusader churches are easy to distinguish because of their small size, as compared to Byzantine churches. The remains of a Crusader church are visible within the walls of the Crusader city.

The fact that this place is entirely an ancient place with no new settlements, except for entertainment centers for tourists, makes it stand out because only then can the true essence of this historic place be captured, especially for those with a liking for archaeology. Don’t forget to bring your sunscreen and hats when you pay this site a visit!

 

References:

https://samsontours.com/stop/the-hippodrome-of-caesarea-166

http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/the-hippodrome-of-caesarea/

http://shalomholytours.com/roman-theater-in-caesarea/

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts+10%3A1-11%3A18&version=ESV

http://biblehub.com/topical/c/caesarea.htm

http://www.israelandyou.com/crusader-castle-caesaria/

 

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Last modified on Wednesday, 25 April 2018 05:51
Nathan Gopen

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Nathan Gopen is a professional software engineer and MIT graduate. He is committed to using his skills in software, multimedia and graphic design to create inspiring and powerful new ways of comprehending and studying the vast riches of God's Word.

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