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Caesarea Coastal Plain, Caesarea

קסריה סיור בשרדי העיר העתיקה

Caesarea was first established 2500 years ago under Persian rule. It was a small settlement originally called "Straton's Tower" after its founder Straton, in the year 30 BCE. It was later given to Herod, king of Judea and Israel during Roman times, who developed the city with many grandiose building projects and renamed it Caesarea in honor of his friend and ally, the emperor Augustus Caesar. He built a temple, an aqueduct, a hippodrome and a great amphitheater for sporting events, horse races and competitions.

The ampitheater is used to this day for all kinds of large scale events, such as opera and theater productions and grand concerts. But the star attraction of his building activities was the deep sea port, which he called Sebastos (Greek for "Augustus"). It is grander in scale than smaller ports, such as Jaffa, which were constructed during the same period, but were built from natural coves.

Caesarea's port is unique in that it was built as an artificial harbor and included an external dock with a pier 400 meters long as well as an internal dock. Around the port Herod built many warehouses to store the commodities that were brought from all over the world by ship. Because of Herod's impressive and massive structures, Caesarea became the capital city during Roman and Byzantine rule in Palestine. After the destruction of Jerusalem, Caesarea became the largest and most important city in Israel. However, after the Muslim conquest in 640 CE, Caesarea lost this status and most of its inhabitants abandoned the city and it became nothing but a small town at the edge of the port. Caesarea was captured again in 1101 by the Crusaders and in 1251 the city was rebuilt by Louis IX. Herod's harbor had structural faults and its breakwaters have been submerged in five meters of water for many hundreds of years.

Today you can see the ruins only by scuba diving at Caesarea's National Park. At the site you can get a map which will guide you through the area that stretches south from the ampitheater to the Crusader city in the north. It is recommended to begin the tour on the north side and to finish in the south at the Roman ampitheater. There are many different trails at the site and visitors can choose what is of interest to them and skip what is less interesting. You can watch a film about the history of the site and can wander the alleys and find gift shops and cafes.

  • Stroller friendly
  • Outdoors
  • Picnic area
  • Cultural
  • Tour Guide Recommended

קיסריה הוקמה לראשונה לפני כ - 2500 שנה בתקופת השלטון הפרסי. המקום היה יישוב קטן בשם "מגדל סטרטון" בשנת 30 לפנה"ס הוענקה העיר ע"י הרומאים להורדוס שהיה מלך יהודה וישראל מטעם הממשל הרומי. הורדוס בנה במקום עיר גדולה ומפוארת וקרא לה ע"ש ידידו הקיסר הרומי "אוגוסטוס-קיסר". קסריה נבנתה ע"י הורדוס כעיר מתוכננת היטב עם מערכת רחובות, מקדש, תיאטרון מפואר ששימש [ומשמש עד היום] למופעי מוזיקה ואמפיתיאטרון. ששימש כמתקן שעשועים להמונים בעיקר למרוצי סוסים ותחרויות ספורט. אך גולת הכותרת של בנייתה של העיר היתה "הנמל" בניגול לנמלי יפו ודור באותה תקופה שהיו נמלים קטנים שבנויים במפרצונים טבעיים. נמל קסריה נבנה כנמל מלאכותי שכלל מעגן חיצוני עם שובר גלים באורך של כ - 400 מטר, מעגן פנימי ורציף בנוי. מסביב לנמל בנה הורדוס מבנים רבים ששימשו מחסנים לסחורות הרבות שהובאו באוניות לנמל בעקבות מפעלו הגדול של הורדוס הפכה קיסריה לעיר הבירה של השלטון הרומאי. לאחר חורבן ירושלים היתה קיסריה לעיר הגדולה והחשובה חותר בארץ. בעקבות הכיבוש הערבי בשנת 640 לספירה איבדה קיסריה את מעמדה, רוב תושביה נטשוה והיא הפכה לעיירת קטנה בשולי הנמל. קסריה נכבשה שוב ע"י הצלבנים בשנת 1101 והעיר בוצרה מחדש בעוצמה מרשימה בשנת 1251 [מסע הצלב של לואי ה - 9]. גם הנמל שבנה הורדוס שקע במים ברבות הימים והיום ניתן לראות את שרידיו רק בצלילה. בכניסה לגן הלאומי בקסריה תקבלו את מפת האתר שמשתרע בין התיאטרון בדרום לבין העיר הצלבנית בצפון. מומלץ להתחיל את הסיור בצד הצפוני וליימו בצד הדרומי בתיאטרון הרומי. באתר מגוון רב של מסלולים וכל מטייל יכול לבחור את הדברים המעניינים אותו ולוותר על מה שפחות מעניין לו. באתר תוכלו גם לצפות בסרט מרהיב על תולדות העיר והנמל להנות ממגוון גלריות ולשבת על כוס קפה או ארוחה קלה באחת המסעדות ובתי הקפה הרבים באתר שכמעט כולם צופים על הים.

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  • Schedule

    8:00 - 4:00 (October - April); 8:00 - 6:00 (May - September)

  • Duration

    2 - 4 hours, depending on how much you want to see

  • Suitabilty

    8:00 - 4:00 (October - April); 8:00 - 6:00 (May - September)

  • Season All year
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