One of Israel’s most beautiful and historic port cities, Caesarea was named after Caesar Augustus and was home to a magnificent theater, bustling harbor, and ancient sporting events.
This ancient port city also gained prominence in early church history. It was the governing seat of Pontius Pilate during the time of Jesus. It was also in this picturesque setting that the Roman centurion Cornelius was visited by an Angel who directed him to send for Peter the Apostle. According to the book of Acts, it was in Caesarea that salvation first came to the Gentiles. Today nearly 5,000 people live, work, and take in the sights of this stunning seaside destination.
Excavated in the 1950s and 1960s, archaeologists uncovered the Roman amphitheater, hippodrome, a Roman temple, city walls, castle, and a Crusader church. Today, visitors can see an inscription bearing the name of Pontius Pilate inside the amphitheater. The inside of the structure is not only magnificent, but its spectacular view of the Mediterranean is unmatched. They can also view the moat which protects the harbor and the aqueduct from the Carmel Mountains.
Caesarea also has an underwater museum, where divers can explore the ancient harbor with waterproof maps. And avid golfers can rejoice–the city is also home to Israel’s only golf course!
Whether you are visiting Israel for historic, religious, or scenic reasons, Caesarea would make a beautiful stop on your itinerary!