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Caesarea Antiquities

Caesarea Harbor, neighbor to the splendid Caesarea National Park, brings you face to face with the periods, the places and the people that have made Caesarea what it is today.

King Herod built the city and port of Caesarea on the ancient ruins of the Phoenician city named “Tower of Straton.” During the Roman Era, the city was populated by Romans, Jews and Samaritans, who all enjoyed the benefits of bountiful running water, bathhouses, castles and cultural and entertainment centers. In the 7th Century AD, the city faded from importance and became a small Muslim village.

In 1101 AD, the Crusaders conquered Caesarea and retained control over the city until the Muslim conquest of Saladin. In 1251 AD, the King of France Louis IX remodeled and fortified Caesarea. The city stood, with varying fortunes, until 1256 when it was abandoned after the Mameluke conquest.

At the end of the 19th century, the ruling Ottoman Empire established a small fishing village, inhabited by Bosnians, that lasted but a few days.

As the 20th century dawned, renowned philanthropist Baron Benjamin de Rothschild, under the auspices of the Palestine Jewish Colonization Association, purchased tens of
thousands of acres of land surrounding Caesarea.

After the founding of the State of Israel, the Caesarea Foundation was established, controlled in equal part by the Rothschild family and the Israeli government. The source of the Foundation’s resources lay in the improvement and development of the real estate surrounding Caesarea undertaken by the Caesarea Edmond Benjamin de Rothschild Corporation, the Caesarea Foundation’s executive arm, founded in 1952.

A tour through ancient Caesarea, along paths suitable for all ages, is an experience unto itself, opening the gate to Caesarea’s impressive past and exposing finds from previous eras testifying to its magnificence.

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