Caesarea National Park is a historic, famous archaeological site,
built to play a part in Herod the Great’s plan to Hellenise the Holy Land in the first century.
He laid out a classical Greek city, including a stadium and amphitheatre,
on the small Phoenician port called Stratton’s Tower.
Caesarea acted as the capital of Palestine during the Roman rule.
Peter converted Cornelius, the Roman centurion, in the city.
It’s also the site where Paul was imprisoned before he was taken to Rome,
and where Bar Kochba revolt leaders, including Akiva, were tried and executed.
The national park is home to the replica of the Pontius Pilot inscription, Cardo Maximus, Byzantine Archive Buildings, bath-houses, an Amphitheatre and the harbor.
Caesarea played an important role in the history of Christianity.
Philip the Evangelist settled here,
while Peter the Apostle traveled here to spread the news of Jesus’s death and resurrection.
In 2010, a storm severely damaged the national park,
a testament to how much the city has crumbled over the past few centuries.
One of the amphitheatre’s walls was destroyed but has since been restored and acts as a popular concert venue in Israel.
The Scriptures spoke of Caesarea:
Acts, Chapter 10:
1 At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of what was known as the Italian Cohort,
2 a devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms liberally to the people, and prayed constantly to God.
3 About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, “Cornelius.”
4 And he stared at him in terror, and said, “What is it, Lord?” And he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God.
5 And now send men to Joppa, and bring one Simon who is called Peter;
6 he is lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the seaside.”
7 When the angel who spoke to him had departed, he called two of his servants and a devout soldier from among those that waited on him,
8 and having related everything to them, he sent them to Joppa.
There is another place is Israel that sound the same, Caesarea Philippi, But the story is different.