Thursday, February 12, 2015

Day 7 - Caesarea Maritima -> Lunch -> Travel to Jerusalem -> The Israel Museum -> Holyland Model -> Hotel Prima, Wast Jerusalem -> Dinner at Hotel

Rev Quek's notes""

Caesarea Maritima ("by the Sea") is located on the shore in the center of Israel, in the middle between Haifa and Tel-Aviv. It was the site of one of the most important cities in the Roman World and served as the Roman capital of the province of Judea at the time of Jesus.

It was founded in 10 BC by King Herod of Judea (37-4 BC) as an urban centre next to an artificial harbour with a temple dedicated to Augustus Caesar.

The palace was built on a rock promontory jutting out into the sea, in the southern part of the Roman city. The excavations revealed a large architectural complex, measuring 110m x 60m with a decorative pool, surrounded by porches.

The amphitheatre measured 64m x 31m. The western side was largely destroyed by the sea. A 1.05 m high wall surrounded an arena, covered with crushed, beaten chalk. During Herodian period, it seated about 8,000 spectators. In the first century seating capacity increased to 15,000. It facilitates as a hippodrome (horse stadium) with horse racing and chariots.

The upper aqueduct begins at the springs located some 9 km northeast of Caesarea, at the foot of Mt. Carmel constructed with considerable engineering know-how. Some parts of the aqueduct were supported by rows of arches. Subsequently, it was named Syria Palaestina by the Emperor Hadrian after the suppression of the Bar Kochba revolt (AD 132-135), and became the largest city in the province.

The Roman officer Cornelius was baptized here (Acts 10:1-5, 25-28). Also Paul set sail for his journeys in the eastern Mediterranean.

During Byzantine era, Origen, the church father founded a Christian academy there with a library of 30000 manuscripts.

AD 639, the Arabs conquered Caesarea. The urban areas were abandoned and converted to agricultural terraces.

1101, the Franks crusaders under King Baldwin I conquered the place. It became the seat of an archbishop and eastern Christians and Muslims settled there.

The city was captured by Saladin in 1187 and retaken by King of England Richard the Lion Heart in 1191. It was seized by King of France Louis IX who restored and fortified Caesarea in 1251-52. In 1265, the Mauluk Sultan Baybars raided the city and razed the fortifications to the ground to prevent the French having a chance to take hold of the place.


Parts of the aqueduct were supported by rows of arches. We watched a movie on the history of Caesarea Maritima.

Roman Ruins of Caesarea Maritima

Inside the main gate of Caesarea Maritima, built during the crusader era

Remains of a two-level building which was the Governor's house. This was probably Pontius Pilate's house.

A large Hippodrome built by Herod the Great. In this amphitheater the Romans conducted horse race (Hippo in Greek), special events, and games.

The most well perserved Ampitheatre

Today, this is a waterfront promenade with restaurants and coffee shops.

A large Hippodrome was built by Herod the Great near his palace. In this amphitheater the Romans conducted horse race (Hippo in Greek), special events, and games.

The Bosnian Mosque at Qisarya

Here, we watched the Caesarea Experience, a interesting movie about Caesarea’s history from Herod through to modern times.

Lunch was at one of the restaurant.

Bread & butter & free flow of salad, beef balls, spagetti, rice and chicken. Camera was lost so no other pictures. Service was good.

En route to our bus

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