A short account of Caesarea, given by your Israel & Jerusalem private tour guide
Caesarea, a city that began as the vision of one person, and was the capital of the country for many centuries, has a lot to offer in the two-hour tour that we will take.
In 22 BCE, King Herod the Great began an ambitious building project. He wanted to build the largest port at the eastern part of the Mediterranean, as well as a full-sized Roman city around it. All of the facilities that you would find in a Roman city were also in Caesarea, such as colonnaded streets and shops, beautiful neighborhoods, bath houses, outdoor and indoor markets, a theater, hippodromes, an amphitheater and of course, a good water supply.
The most important periods for our tour are:
- The Roman and Byzantine periods (1st-7th centuries CE), the time that Caesarea was the capital of the country and governor’s seat. Although the port was damaged by earthquakes during this time, it was still the major city in the country.
- The Crusader rule, during the 12th-13th centuries. At that time, Caesarea was just a town with a small port. It was surrounded by massive walls that still stand tall today. At approximately 1300 CE, the city was leveled and was never inhabited until recently, when an Israeli town by this name was built next to it.
What are we going to see?
From the Crusader gate and wall, we’ll walk through the archaeological digs to see two videos – one about the history of the city, and one on how the various facilities were built by King Herod. Then we’ll walk through the hippodrome to King Herod’s massive palace and to the theater. After seeing all of this, we’ll drive to the aqueduct.