This first step of our journey was exciting. I think it was because it was the first historic site we saw on our trip. Also, its location was absolutely breathtaking with the Mediterranean Sea in the background. We toured the area, watched a video, and were able to take many pictures. As you can see by the pictures below, it was a beautiful, hot sunny day.
Our first stop was Caesarea National Park, which is located on the Mediterranean coast in northern Sharon. In 30 BC, Herod was given the village. Because of its ideal location, Herod built the port city of Caesarea, which took twelve years. The city was advanced and soon became the headquarters of the Roman government in Palestine in 6 BC. The city had roads, markets, a theater, amphitheater, homes, and a temple. Originally, it was built by the Phoenicians, during Persian rule. The location was ideal because of the bays, which according to the pamphlet I received at Caesarea stated "were utilized throughout history for the anchorage of sea-going vessels." Josephus talked about this city in his writing which says, "And he chose on the coast one forsaken town by the name of Straton's Tower...which thanks to its favourable location was suitable for carrying out his ambitious plans. He rebuilt it entirely of white stone and adorned it with a royal palace of unique splendor, displaying..the brilliance of his mind." Interestingly enough, after Jerusalem was destroyed, Caesarea became the most important city in Israel. The city continued to florish over many periods and conquests. However, in 1265 the city was destroyed by the Mamelukes.
This information was researched by Y. Porath and written in a pamphlet given to me at Caesarea.
Photos taken by Chloe Cooper, Aaron Harrison, and Loor Alshawa