King Herod of Judea-Builder of Caesarea

King Herod of Judea-Builder of Caesarea

One thing Jerusalem, Israel does not have is a good view of the sea.

An attempt for a beach in Liberty Bell Park was a poor substitute.

So a trip to the coast and the sea was a welcome treat.

Beach front sign in Hebrew Caesarea port

The sign “The Sea” between palm trees greets visitors to Caesarea coastal park.

Caesarea excavations

Here part of the remains of Herod’s Sebastos Harbor has been exposed.

Roman bath house excavation in Caesarea

But other portions are being worked on carefully by archaeologists.

Visitor Center in Caesarea

The trip was to attend the launch of the new Visitor Center.

Visitor center in Caesarea

Josephus wrote of Herod’s tribute to Caesar in the first century BCE.

Herod the Builder. Herod the Great. Ruler of Judea. Builder of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. Builder of the fortress, Masada. Builder of Herodion.

Scene of old port of Herod in Caesarea

Herod built Sebastos to honor Caesar Augusta and the goddess Roma.

In this photograph from the video in the new Visitor Center video, we see his vision.

Image of port Herod built today Caesarea

One scene illustrated the hundreds of boats that came through.

Herod’s building project took ten years to complete. Tons open tons of cement went into rafts sunk, along the coast which had no natural harbor.

Herod or Hordus as he is called in Hebrew began globalization in the region.

From video in visitor center in Caesarea

Caesar Augustus attended the gala opening of the one mile long piers and temple.

Screen shot of video in visitor center of Caesarea of Herod's port

However, this massive building project lay in ruins for 2000 years.

Artifacts found in port of Caesarea

Now, located in one of the fourteen vaults Herod built to support the platform of the temple of Augustus and Roma, the new Caesarea Visitor Center is open to the public.

The once-thriving area was rebuilt and hosted many rulers over the centuries – pagan, Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Samaritan.

Roman remains from building of Caesarea by Herod

In the museum, artifacts from various periods are on display.

Caesarea Visitor Center menorah

An ancient menorah was placed next to a modern visual box, hard to catch in a photograph.

Layers of history in Caesarea Israel

Visuals of the past help the visitor to see how the 60-acre site would have looked.

King Herod’s gateway to the Mediterranean Sea was constructed in the 1st century BCE.

Pieces of pottery over the years found in harbor

On display are recovered pottery pieces that span the centuries.

Visitor Center in Caesarea at sunset

This was the outside of the vault of the Caesarea Visitor Center at sunset,

Roman baths in port of Caesarea at harbor

and next to it an area where Roman baths greeted weary seafarers.

Bottles of wine at event to launch Caesarea visitor center

The Caesarea project was funded by the Rothschild Foundation and featured family wine at its launch.

Sunset by the beach of Caesarea

As the sun set, this was as close to the beach as I could get.

Because of the tight security, I was afraid if I left I might not get back in.

Lights go on at launch of Visitor center at Caesarea Isale

The lights went on, the program began.

Woman and man dressed as statutes at nigh event in Caesrea to launch new visitor center

Musicians played and the statues turned. Oh my, they turned out to be live performers.

Israel president Rivlin speaking at launch of visitor center in Caesarea

President Reuven Rivlin arrived after a tour of the new museum and spoke.

President Rivlin and Arianna Rothschild cutting ribbon at new visitor center in Caesarea, Israel

Cutting the ribbon with Baroness Ariana de Rothschild before he headed back to Jerusalem.

Then the party and music really got going.

Perhaps that is why the neighbors were invited along with media and dignitaries?

Fancy ladies loo at launch of Caesarea visitor center.

Though I do not usually take selfies, this outdoor portable toilet fit for royalty needed a photo. Sorry, I cannot share the pleasant smell. This was not your usual portaloo.

The Caesarea harbor is to be once again a major stop for visitors.

I took a short clip from the video, which should be the first stop on a visit to the new Caesarea Visitor Center.

King Herod. King of Judea. Hard to describe in a few words in a blog.

Visitors can now experience parts of his story in Caesarea.

 

Jerusalem Streets, Below and from Above

Jerusalem Streets, Below and from Above

It has been a hot and tense week

in Jerusalem, Israel.

On my visit to the Old City

Jerusalem Israel metal detectors

I had to go through metal detectors.

Jerusalem Israel Old City metal detectors

 They are at every entrance to the Western Wall Plaza.

These metal detectors have been in place for years

and they have not been removed.

Millions have passed through metal detectors,

often after waiting for long periods of time in line,

with no riots that I know of.

Last week during a heat wave,

while Muslims were protesting and rioting,

Group of tourists from Africa on Western Wall Plaza

a group of African tourists came to the Kotel,

the Western Wall, as on any other regular day.

Over Jerusalem’s 3,000 year history,

it has been built and destroyed and rebuilt,

which is evident in the multiple layers found underground.

Notice the white fence in background of above photo?

Archaeological excavations behind Western Wall Plaza

Behind it archaeologists have carried out this excavation.

Dig down. You will find more history revealed.

Security in Jerusalem, Israel Old City Western Wall Plaza

While on the streets security was tense,

Model of Building Temple in Jerusalem

below in the Western Wall Tunnels

we saw a model of how the Second Temple

was constructed on a flat base over the foundation stone.

Western Wall tunnels under Jerusalem streets

Thousands of people have come to see the tunnels.

Western Wall tunnel excavations

Constant discoveries are being revealed,

Water of mikvah in Western Wall tunnel excavation

such as a mikvah, ritual bath,

from the time of King Herod.

Jerusalem, Israel Western Wall tunnel large room for public viewing

One large room shows multiple layers of stones

from various conquerors of Jerusalem over the centuries.

Jerusalem has so much history hidden under your feet.

Under what was once a parking lot near the Old City Walls

houses uncovered in excavation by Ir David

is today an excavation revealing what lay beneath the pavement.

Ir David, the City of David,

poster for night show in City of David

has posters for a new night-time show,

Developed City of David in Jerusalem Israel

to be held in its new seating area.

The City of David is located just outside the walls of Old City.

Excavation in City of David

This layer of blackened, destroyed homes

has been carbon dated to the time of the fall of the First Temple.

My friend got down to get a close up,

Idol found in ruins of house collapsed by destruction of Jerusalem

but I was more fascinated by this idol,

perhaps left over from the escape from Egypt,

which was found in the ruins.

So many coins and treasures, and history,

Arab woman walking in Silwan near Ir David

are hidden under these streets.

Excavation of new entrance to Western Wall Plaza

One day this street will be a major attraction.

Important Pilgrim path from Shiloah Pond to Har Habayit and Temple Mount

The “stepped street” has not been open to the public.

It is the route of the ancient pilgrims bringing offerings

to the Holy Temple in Jerusalem,

and one day is to be

Entrance of Old City from Ir David to Temple Mount

the new entrance to the Kotel, the Western Wall.

From the top of the Aish HaTorah building

we see above the Western Wall Plaza.

View of Temple Mount and Western Wall from Aish Hatorah

On the right is the Mughrabi Bridge,

the only entrance for non-Muslims to the Temple Mount,

Jerusalem Israel view of Muraghbi bridge

where you will note,

security cameras are still very much in place.

View of AlAqsa Mosque from roof of Aish Hatorah

Al-Aqsa Mosque was quiet that day,

though the calls to Muslim prayers filled the air.

Jerusalem Israel Old City model to Second Temple on roof of Aish Hatorah overlooking Dome of Rock

Past a model of the Second Temple,

one can see the gold paint of the Dome of the Rock.

You may see photos of rioting on the streets,

but under the streets history is also unfolding.

Sometimes what you can not see is more encouraging

that what is happening above.