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Best Places To Visit in Israel

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Archaeology

 

Caesarea

Based on our travels, it appears that the leaders of the Roman armies had quite the eye for scenic properties and Caesarea is no exception. Nestled along a beautiful section of coast, the ruins of Caesarea are expansive and impressive.

The history of Caesarea dates back to the 3rd century BC, when it was settled by the Phoenicians.  It was later conquered by the Romans and became an important economic center and port under King Herod.  In the 11th century, Caesarea was controlled by the Crusaders.

Now a National Park, Caesarea is located on the coast between Haifa and Tel Aviv-Jafo.  The park includes a Roman (Herodian) amphitheater, bath house and an impressive beachside aqueduct, as well as  fortifications made by the Crusaders.

The site contains remnants of the harbor used both by the Romans and the Crusaders.  Many areas are being excavated and the place oozes layers of history. There is much to see at Caesarea and the setting is beguiling.  The ruins are extensive and will take over an hour to tour.  For information on visiting see the official National Park website .                  

               Caesarea is intriguing and beautiful

Masada

Masada is the hilltop fortification famous for the dramatic stand by  a group of approximately one-thousand Jewish patriots against the Roman army in the 1st century AD. After a long and violent siege by the Romans, the Jewish force choose mass suicide, rather than face defeat and continued subjugation. 

The location of Masada at the top of a plateau is dramatic.  The site was originally built as a palace complex by Herod the Great late in the 1st century (BC), but was later taken by a Jewish group opposed to Roman rule. In addition to the ruins of Masada, the Roman siege works still exist and are considered one of the best examples of this type of structure still existing.  There are trails that can take you to the top (the area of greatest interest) or you can take a cable car from the Dead Sea Approach.  See the official National Park Website  for more details on visiting.

               Masada is dramatically situated and enormously interesting

 

Beit Shean

              The Roman Ampitheater at Beit Shean is well-preserved

Some of the many columns that have been unearthed at Beit SheanBeit Shean (Bet Sh'ean) located in the northern Jordan valley is believed to have been founded five thousand years ago and successively ruled the the Egyptians, Israelites, Greeks, Roman, Byzantines and Arabs. In the middle of the 8th century it was destroyed by a massive earthquake and subsequently  abandoned. It is one of the most researched of the archeological sites in Israel and other interesting digs are close by.  It is a stunning sight with many columns,  walls, foundation and a well-preserved amphitheater.

More information on Beit Shean can be found at its official website.

Herodium / Herodion  

           Herodium is an amazing location that continues to reveal its secrets even today.

South of Jerusalem and east of Bethlehem, you will find Herodium, which was built by Herod the Great around 25 BC as a kingly palace and a defensive fortress, inside what appears to be a planated, cone-shaped mountain.  The artificial  "mountain-top"" was purpose built,  as it is actually the walls surrounding  the fortress. The walls are  over seven stories tall and incredibly thick. In addition to the palace, the site includes Herod’s tomb.

See the website of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority for more information on this interesting and historically important location.

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Best Places To Visit in Israel

Jerusalem Guide

On This Page (3)
Caesarea
Masada
Beit Shean
Herodium

Page 1
Overview
Tel Aviv
Haifa
Acre
Sea of Galilee
Tiberias
Dead Sea
Eilat

Page 2
Nazareth
Bethlehem
Capernaum
Tabgha
Mount of Beatitudes
The Gospel and Jesus Trails

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