Sites in Caesarea
Contributed by Turathuna Bethlehem University on 05.10.2006:
Caesarea is a most impressive archeological site. One can visit the Roman-period theater, king Herod’s palace and the amphitheater. One can also cross the moat, enter the restored Crusader city and look toward the harbor from the top of the podium.
First built in the Herodian period, the amphitheater on the city’s southern shore seated 8,000 spectators, and after it was expanded in the first century CE, 15,000. This venue for racing horses and chariots had two well-preseved sides, although the sea largely destroyed the western side.
The roman aqueduct provided an abundant supply of water for several eras. The upper aqueduct begins at the foot of Mt.Carmel. Entering the city from the north, the water flowed through a network of pipes to collecting pools and fountains throughout the city. Many inscriptions in the aqueduct ascribe responsibility for its maintenance to the 2nd and 10th Roman Legion.
In use throughout Roman rule, the palace was a large architectural complex with a decorative pool surrounded by porticos.
Herod commissioned this earliest of the Roman entertainment facilities. The theate faces the sea and has thousands of seats resting on a semi-circular structure of vaults. The semi-circular floor of the orchestra, first paved in painted plaster, was later paved with marble.