Caesarea ,a small port city on the Mediterranean coast was rebuilt by King Herod, who renamed it Caesarea in honor of the Roman emperor. In 6 A.D., Caesarea became the capital of the Roman province of Judea. The city continued to flourish under Byzantine rule. In early 12th century, Caesarea was conquerred by the Crusaders; later the city was captured by Mameluk sultan Baybars and destroyed.
Now Caesarea is a large archaeological site, with remains from Roman, Byzantine and Crusader periods.
Although parts of Roman pillars are seen here and there, the remains of the city’s Roman buildings were mostly used for construction in other towns. The ancient harbour is now several meters below the sea level. Nevertheless, there is a well-preserved Roman aqueduct, north to the city; in the southern part of the city, there is a restored Roman theatre, one of the largest of its kind in Israel. In the summer, concerts and other performances are held here. One can also find the ruins of Roman amphitheatre and hippodrome.
The remains of residences from the Byzantine period, some with mosaic floors, are what you meet across the site. Byzantine street was discovered and unearthed in a grove near the Crusader walls; in the street you can see two impressive headless Roman statues, one of white marble and one of red porphyry.
The Crusader city was fortified in the 13rd century; the thick city walls andthe Crusader gate are preserved until today. To enter the crusader city, we had to walk over a drawbridge and to turn around two corners inside the gate (such a design of the gate was a simple attack-preventing measure). Remains of some Crusader buildings are inside the walls, as well as bits of ancient glass and pottery, etc.