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Caesarea – Saturday November 29th 2014 – Time: 13:23

Shalom Caesarea!

After 30 minutes driving from Haifa, we arrived at our next stop right at lunchtime. The tour bus left us in a parking lot in front of the queue for ticket offices. Behind the offices, a large building made with big stones and half demolished welcomed us.

 
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Caesarea is an ancient Roman port built around 22 BC by Herod in honor of his patron and Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar. Caesarea was a very popular town becouse Herod organised big sports and fighting events every five years, and also because Caesarea was a very busy comercial port.

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Today Caesarea National Park is a place where the remains of a Roman city lives with restaurants and shopping areas. A very popular place for families on holidays due its services and facilities.

Caesarea - Visitors Center area

Even when the park closes, visitors can still enjoy dinner at one of its restaurants.

In the Visitors Centre we could eat at a restaurant overlooking the old harbor of Caesarea. 

Restaurant overlooking old port of Caesarea - Israel

Among the remains of the ancient city we visited the Herodian Amphitheatre, a large esplanade used as hippodrome and amphitheater during the time of Herod. A sculpture with chariot racing shape symbolizes what kind of activity used to take place here.

Hippodrome - Caesarea - Israel

We kept the tour of the ancient city till its highlight, the Roman Amphitheatre. This Roman theater dating from Herod time, was certainly where some of his popular events were performed.

Roman Amphitheatre - Caesarea - Israel

And its use has not changed much since the days of Herod, as today it is one of the most popular places for events such as concerts, opera or theater plays.

Walking through the Roman ruins of Caesarea I realized that it is a perfect place to spend a day with the family by the sea or to enjoy a concert at the amphitheater. But Caesarea is not one of the best Roman sites in the area. You need to use more imagination than eyes to visit this place, except the amphitheatre.