The Roman port city of Caesarea is one of Israel’s wonders, combining ancient structures, archeology and a picture-perfect harbor, and adapting them for modern use.
Built by Rome’s Judean Governor, Herod the Great, two millennia ago, Caesarea was one of the largest and most magnificent ports in the Mediterranean, with giant piers stretching out into the sea to accommodate dozens of ships. The city of Caesarea contained a giant hippodrome, aqueduct and theater; a thousand years later the Crusaders arrived and built a giant fortress, and then came the Ottomans, who turned it into a seaside town. Today, the Roman theatre is a venue for concerts, the Crusader fortress is thrilling to visit and the Ottoman harbor and beach are full of cafes, restaurants and a visitors’ center. Caesarea is 45 minutes’ drive from Tel Aviv, 20 from Haifa.