Caesarea was built as part of Herod the Great's ambitious plan to "Hellenise" the Holy Land in the 1st century BCE. He chose the site of a small Phoenician port called Stratton's Tower and laid out a classical Greek city, complete with amphitheatre and stadium. Herod also constructed an artificial harbor by making use of concrete piling under water - the first ever such use of concrete.
During Roman rule Caesarea was the capital of Palestine. It was here where Cornelius, the Roman centurion, was converted by Peter; Paul was imprisoned before being taken to Rome; and where the leaders of the Bar Kochba revolt were tried and executed, including Akiva.
Caesarea is well-known as an archaeological site preserving the original theater built by Herod, replica of the Pontius Pilot inscription, Byzantine Archive Buildings, Cardo Maximus as well as bath-houses, ware houses, an amphitheatre and the harbor.
Among the abundance of tourist sites that relate the story of ancient Israel is the magnificent story of Caesarea. A visit to the national park and ancient port, a tour of the hippodrome and Roman amphitheatre, a walk among the impressive palace ruins cannot be complete without observing the splendour displayed in the Travel through Time displays that combine to recreate a city being reawakened in front of our very eyes, at the Port of Caesarea.
The crowning glory of the visit to the site is an impressive Travel through Time display, which highlights the tour and transforms the visit into a historical trek through time. The 10-minute multimedia clip presents the city throughout the ages. An innovative computer simulation visually displays how the city passed from one hand to another and how the city appeared in the various ages.