The National Park of Caesarea is without a doubt one of Israel’s most popular and monumental sites. It is the site where over the course of 12 years the legendary King Herod, whose architectural visions shape Israel’s landscape until today, built the grandest town other than Jerusalem in Palestine.
King Herod built a deep sea harbor, an aqueduct, a hippodrome and an amphitheatre using then modern Roman construction techniques. The remains of these monumental architectural sites are still visible today and are in very good condition. The amphitheatre was the first of its kind in Palestine, and until today it serves as a spectacular performing venue. It offers you a beautiful view over the Mediterranean. The aqueduct proved to be a brilliant construction to provide the city’s residents with the much needed fresh water supply. Although not as spectacular as the theatre, the Hippodrome used to hold 20,000 spectators for chariot races. Every five years, the city of Caesarea under King Herod held major sports competitions and events. During Herod’s time, the deep sea harbor was considered one of the most modern in the world. Over the many years, the walls have sunk roughly 5 meters into the ground, an excellent location for diving and underwater photography.
King Herod renamed the city in honor of the emperor. The site is significant for Roman, Jewish as well as Christian history. Here the Jewish and the Syrians started their fights from which the Great Revolt erupted. Here Rabbi Akiva was tortured and executed by the Romans during the Bar Kochba Revolt. It is the only place where evidence proving Pontius Pilates’ existence in form of an inscription was found. During the third century it was a center of Christian teaching and learning.
It is a magnificent site for filming projects connected to history and architecture. Crews that go on sailing boats can film Caesarea from the coastline and also go on spectacular diving trips along the old port walls. It provides beautiful images during sunset hours when the sun rays reflect on the old marble stones and mosaics; a true gem amongst the film locations in Israel.