Port of Caesarea

Ancient city of Caesarea

Wikipedia tells us that “The ancient city of Caesarea was built by Herod the Great about 25–13 BCE as a major port. It served as an administrative center of Judaea Province of the Roman Empire”. 

The apostle Paul was brought up on charges by the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem but the trial was moved to Caesarea. 

Acts 23: verses 23 – 35 New International Version (NIV)

Paul Transferred to Caesarea

23 Then he called two of his centurions and ordered them, “Get ready a detachment of two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen[a] to go to Caesarea at nine tonight. 24 Provide horses for Paul so that he may be taken safely to Governor Felix.”  25 He wrote a letter as follows: 

26 Claudius Lysias,

To His Excellency, Governor Felix:


27 This man was seized by the Jews and they were about to kill him,but I came with my troops and rescued him, for I had learned that he is a Roman citizen. 28 I wanted to know why they were accusing him, so I brought him to their Sanhedrin. 29 I found that the accusation had to do with questions about their law, but there was no charge against him that deserved death or imprisonment. 30 When I was informed of a plot to be carried out against the man, I sent him to you at once. I also ordered his accusers to present to you their case against him.

31 So the soldiers, carrying out their orders, took Paul with them during the night and brought him as far as Antipatris. 32 The next day they let the cavalry go on with him, while they returned to the barracks. 33 When the cavalry arrived in Caesarea, they delivered the letter to the governor and handed Paul over to him. 34 The governor read the letter and asked what province he was from.  Learning that he was from Cilicia, 35 he said, “I will hear your case when your accusers get here.” Then he ordered that Paul be kept under guard in Herod’s palace.

Stone referencing Pontius Pilot in Caesarea.
Stone referencing Pontius Pilot in Caesarea.  This is the same Pontius Pilot who sentenced Jesus to the cross as recorded in the book of Matthew, Chap 27, verses 1 – 2 (NIV):  “Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people made their plans how to have Jesus executed. So they bound him, led him away and handed him over to Pilate the governor.”


Port of Caesarea
Port of Caesarea.   There is no natural port at Caesarea on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea so Herod the Great built artificial jetties to form the port and then built the palace, amphitheater, hippodrome to go along with the rest of the city.  
Roman aqueduct at Caesarea
Roman aqueducts in Caesarea.  These aqueducts supplied the city of Caesarea with fresh water from the mountains. 
Caesarea theater built by Herod the Great.
Caesarea palace built by Herod the Great.
Ruins of the Roman Hippodrome at Caesarea
Caesarea hippodrome (chariot and horse racing) built by Herod the Great.
Caesarea Hippodrome
Caesarea hippodrome
ancient arch at the entrance to the theater in Caesarea
Arch at entrance to the amphitheater.   Hard to believe that this arch has survived the centuries.

Caesarea Ampitheater
360 degree photo (move your mouse of rotate your cell phone to look around the area)

Caesarea Hippodrome
360 degree photo (move your mouse of rotate your cell phone to look around the area)

For another view on Caesarea, check out Sergio and Rhoada’s visit to Caesarea:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJ71dph8qE8
Or Dr. Todd Fink’s videos and photos on Caesarea at:  https://www.holylandsite.com/caesarea-overview