Caesarea is the former site of Stratonospyrgos built by King Stratton I of Saida. In 90 BC, King Alexander Jannaeus of The Jewish State occupied this city. Subsequently, it became a Jewish city. In 63 BC, the Empire of Rome conquered the city and made it autonomous.
During the reign of Herod the great, he made great efforts to build this city and renamed it "Caesarea", meaning “The city of emperor Rome”. He claimed that it was dedicated to Augustus, the great of the Kaiser, for making overtures to Rome. In 22 BC, a deep water artificial harbor was built in this city equipped with temples, markets, big lighthouse and other municipal facilities. They strove to make this city to an important trading region in Mediterranean.
Under the governance of the Byzantine Empire, the city was still famous for its prosperity. After several man-made and natural disasters, just like wars, earthquakes and so on. Most of the buildings collapsed or sank to the bottom of the sea, finally are unknown to the public. After the founding of the State of Israel, the Rothschild family contributed to forge this city to a settlement dominated by tourism.
The land of treasures
In February 2015, some divers from Israeli Diving Club were diving in Caesarea harbor. They stumbled upon about 2000 ancient gold coins. This is also the largest number of gold coins ever found in this area.
They collected several gold coins and went ashore and reported to the head of the club about the discovery. And then, Israel Antiquities Authority sent people to salvage all the gold coins. These coins have different face value. They belong to the Shiite Muslim Tima dynasty, which ruled the Middle East and large areas of North Africa from AD 907 to 1171. And they were the currency of the dynasty. Israel Antiquities Authority said that the discovery of these gold is extremely valuable. They were priceless.
Kobi Sharvit, head of the marine Archaeology Department of the Israel Antiquities Authority, claimed that excavation and search work will continue, and future work may reveal further secrets of these treasures. He said there might be a wreck. Perhaps it was a financial vessel with the tax on board heading for the seat of the Egyptian central government. There is another possibility that these gold coins are prepared to pay to the troops stationed in Caesarea to carry out the city defense task of the Fatima dynasty army. These gold coins may also come from a large merchant ship which doing business with Mediterranean cities frequently.
The climate of Caesarea is influenced by Mediterranean climate, and it is also self-regulating in the mountains. It has formed a climate characterized by elevated temperature, dry in summer as well as humid and rainy in winter. So, the best time to travel here is the annual dry season from April to October, you can avoid the continuous rain.
At the end of the 19th century, people began to carry out archaeological excavations in Caesarea. The ancient city of King Herod and the fortress of the Crusades were accessible to the public. And Caesarea was turned into a national park. The modern Caesarea is a quiet and charming tourist city. Soft and green golf course, luxury hotels and villas are showing the affluence of this both old and young coastal city. There are lots of trees around the city. Caesarea was swathed in boundless shade, making people like to enter an emerald green world.
Blue sky, blue sea, earthy walls...... History has left too many imprints on the city of Caesarea, but there are also many modern pastimes. Every summer, the wind blows gently, the concerts and dance parties at the amphitheater become a popular cultural activity for Israelis. The sea is like a light blue carpet in the rhythm of breeze, smooth music blended with the fragrance of flowers. The snatches of melody floating on the salty air makes you think you were stepping into a fairyland.