Caesarea Maritime

Brief History

Also known as “Caesarea as near Sebastos,” Caesarea of Straton, Caesarea of Palestine, Caesarea Palaestinae, Colonia Prima Flavia Augusta Caesariensis, Herodian Caesarea, Horvat Qesari, Kaisariyeh, Kessaria, “Metropolis of the province Syria Palaestina,” Migdal Shorshon, Qaisariya, Qaisariyeh, Qaysariyah, Qesari, Qisri, Qisrin, Strato's Tower, Straton's Caesarea, Straton's Tower, Turris Stratonis

Herod's Harbor:

This site was insignificant until Herod the Great began to develop it into a magnificent harbor befitting his kingdom. The harbor was built using materials that would allow the concrete to harden underwater. The three-acre harbor would accommodate 300 ships, much larger than the modern harbor existing today.

The Theater:

Herod the Great also constructed a theater with a seating capacity of 3500. According to Josephus, this is where the death of Herod Agrippa occurred, as recounted in Acts 12. The theater was covered with a skin covering (vellum), and visitors probably brought cushions with them to soften the stone seats.

Promontory Palace:

Josephus called this a "most magnificent palace" that Herod the Great built on a promontory jutting out into the waters of Caesarea. The pool in the center was nearly Olympic in size, and was filled with fresh water. A statue once stood in the center. Paul may have been imprisoned on the grounds of this palace (Acts 23:35).

The Aqueduct:

The lack of fresh water at Herod's new city required a lengthy aqueduct to bring water from springs at the base of Mt. Carmel nearly ten miles away. In order that the water would flow by the pull of gravity, the aqueduct was built on arches and the gradient was carefully measured. Later Hadrian and the Crusaders would attach additional channels to Herod's aqueduct.