Day 1: Caeserea

32.501, 34.891

Caeserea was built by Herod the Great in honor of his patron, Augustus Caesar. Construction began in 22 BCE and the city finished 12 years later included palaces, temples, a hippodrome, a marketplace, a hippodrome and water/sewage systems. The artificial harbor was built using hydraulic concrete made from volcanic ash - a remarkable technical feat for the era.

An earthquake severely damaged the harbor in 130 CE, although the city remained a significant commercial center for many more centuries. The city first came under Muslim control in 638, was captured during the First Crusade in 1101 and exchanged hands periodically thereafter. Much of the fortification seen our visit was built by King Louis IX of France in 1251, just before the Crusaders were expelled for the last time in 1265. The city gradually fell into total ruin and the port filled with silt - ironically preserving much of the architecture until it was excavated by contemporary archaeologists beginning in the 1950's.

The city makes a number of appearances in the Christian Bible in the book of Acts:

This city should not be confused with Caesarea Philippi, which is mentioned as being visited Jesus' in the synoptic gospels and was located far to the east in the Golan Heights.

05/23/2011 12:19:40
Caeserea map
05/23/2011 10:26:52
Disembarking at Caesarea
05/23/2011 10:26:56
Entry gate
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Theatre
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Theatre
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Decapitated statues
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Statues
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Statues
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Theatre
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Theatre
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Theatre sign
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Theatre sign
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Theatre
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Theatre
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Vomitorium
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Contemporary stage
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Seating
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Seating area
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Seating
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Seating
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Archway
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Exit stage left
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Exit
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Theatre
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Back of theatre
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Architectural remnants
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Bath
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Remnants sign
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Cornice remnant
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Architectural remnants
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Elements diagram
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Theatre diagram
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Column capitals
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Column capitals
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Column capitals
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Column capitals
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Sarcophogus
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Sarcophogus
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Sarcophagi sign
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Hippodrome
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Me and Mom at Caesarea
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Dedicatory inscription replica
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Dedicatory inscription sign
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Cistern sign
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Well
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Well
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Well sign
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Harbor remnants
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Praetorium
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Praetorium
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Appeal to Caeser
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Praetorium sign
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Entrance complex rendering
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Compound history
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Compound diagram
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South entry to Hippodrome
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Hippodrome
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Hippodrome
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Hippodrome sign
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Hippodrome Meta Prima
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Hippodrome
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Hippodrome
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Hippodrome
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Lost western edge of hippodrome
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Palace rendering
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Hippodrome
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Hippodrome
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Clear Mediterranean waters
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Looking north
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Palace vaults
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Palace vaults
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Palace vaults sign
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Mosaics
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Mosaics
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Palace vaults
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Palace vaults
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Mithraeum sign
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Mithraeum
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Palace bath sign
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Palace bath
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Palace bath
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Crusader era fortress
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Crusader era fortress walls
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Fortress walls
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Fortress walls
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Plaza
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Fortress walls
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Archway
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Caeserea history sign
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Artist's quarter
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Temple dais
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Temple dais
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Temple dais
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Temple dais
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Temple dais
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Sarcophogi
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Sarcophogi
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Sarcophogi
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Sarcophogi
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Sarcophogi
05/23/2011 12:07:32
Sarcophogi
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Sarcophogi
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Cornice remnant
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Caeserea
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Herod's Harbor
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Caeserea
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Nymphaeum
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Nymphaeum
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Seeking shade
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Special tree?
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Tree?
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Tree?
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Path to Crusader gate
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Crusader gate
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Path to Crusader gate
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Crusader gate
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Crusader gate
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Crusader gate
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Crusader gate
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Crusader gate
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Crusader gate
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Crusader gate
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Moat
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Caeserea history sign
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Gate sign
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Moat
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Moat bridge
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Moat bridge
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Entry
05/23/2011 12:26:08
Returning to the bus
05/23/2011 10:18:06
Power plant in Caesarea
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Power plant
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Power plant