Shalom! Caesarea

Shalom!  Beginning of our journey in Israel, if you missed my earlier post, do check out – Shalom! Israel  Departed from Tel Aviv airport, our first stop was to Caesarea National Park.

Caesarea National Park

Caesarea National Park is situated on the Mediterranean coast in northern Sharon, lies alongside bays and shallow inlets and were utilised throughout history for the anchorage of sea-going vessels.  The park extends from the Roman theatre in the south to the Crusader city in the north.

Brief Historic Background

Caesarea was a planned city, with a network of crisscrossing roads, a temple, theatre, amphitheatre, markets and residential quarters.  The city transformed rapidly into a great commercial centre, and by the year 6 BC, it became the headquarters of the Roman government in Palestine.

During the Byzantine period, the city flourished, and extended over some 400 acres.  Towards the end of the 6th century, a perimeter wall was built, making Caesarea the largest fortified city in the country.

Following the Arab conquest in 640 AD, Caesarea lost its political and economic significance.  Most of its citizens left the city and it became a small forsaken village.


Walked through the entrance, we saw The Theatre, the most ancient of all theatres found in Israel.  Built in Herod’s time, it continued to be in use for hundreds of years thereafter.  Towards the end of the Byzantine period, The Theatre was converted into a castle, and was deserted after the Arab conquest.


Making over way to the Herodian Amphitheatre from The Threatre. (Picture below)



The Herodian Amphitheatre is a huge U-shaped entertainment structure, complete with an arena and hundreds of seats.  Built by Herod, it was probably used for horse racing, sport events and entertainment shows during the Roman period.  As I was looking at the Amphitheatre at the spectators area, I imagined how it was like during the Roman period. The Romans were not just good at winning wars and conquering lands but also enjoying and entertaining themselves.


Looking at Caesarea, I saw the indelible marks that the Romans left behind.


For more information on Caesarea, check out Israel Nature & Parks Authority.

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