Caesarea, a town in Israel that is located mid-way between Tel Aviv and Haifa is very important historical location and national park in Israel.
The town was built by Herod the Great about 25–13 BC as the port city Caesarea Maritima. It served as an administrative center of Judea Province of the Roman Empire, and later it was the capital of the Byzantine Palestine Prima province during the classic period.
Herod, on the halfway between Jaffa and Dora decided to build a city and the harbor and name it after his patron Emperor Augustus who was in power at the time of foundations – Caesarea .
With Herod ‘s death the city lost its glory, and became the capital of the Roman province of the next more than six centuries .
Following the Muslim conquest in the 7th century, in which it was the last city to fall to the Arabs, the city had an Arab majority until Crusader conquest.
Important dates in Caesarea’s history:
- It was abandoned after the Mamluk conquest and then again re-populated in 1884 by Bosniak immigrants, who settled in a small fishing village.
- In 1940, kibbutz Sdot Yam was established next to the village.
- In February 1948 the village was conquered by a Palmach unit commanded by Yitzhak Rabin, its people already having fled following an attack by the Stern Gang.
- In 1952, a Jewish town of Caesarea was established near the ruins of the old city, which were made into the national park of Caesarea Maritima.
A few significant facts about Caesarea in the history of religion:
- Since the 3rd century, this city is the center of Christianity in Palestine
- Akiva ben Joseph widely known as Rabbi Akiva was executed by the Romans in Caesarea
- Roman centurion Cornelius sent his soldiers to Jaffa after St. Peter which resulted with making Cornelius to be the first pagan who was baptized and converted to Christianity in Caesarea
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