17 Facts About Caesarea Maritima


Caesarea Maritima, formerly Strato's Tower, known as Caesarea Palestinae, was an ancient city in the Sharon plain on the coast of the Mediterranean, now in ruins and included in an Israeli national park.

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Studies of seabed deposits at Caesarea Maritima have shown that a tsunami struck the area sometime during the 1st or 2nd century.

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When Judea became a Roman province in 6 CE, Caesarea Maritima replaced Jerusalem as its civilian and military capital and became the official residence of its governors, such as the Roman procurator Antonius Felix, and prefect Pontius Pilatus.

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In 6 CE Caesarea Maritima became the provincial capital of the Judaea Province, before the change of name to Syria Palaestina in 135, in the aftermath of the Bar Kokhba revolt.

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Caesarea Maritima was one of four Roman colonies for veteran Roman soldiers in the Syria-Phoenicia region.

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Caesarea Maritima is mentioned in the 3rd-century Mosaic of Rehob, with respect to its non-Jewish population.

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Caesarea Maritima visited Caesarea between his second and third missionary journeys, and later, as mentioned, stayed several days there with Philip the Deacon.

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Apostolic Constitutions says that the first Bishop of Caesarea Maritima was Zacchaeus the Publican, followed by Cornelius and Theophilus (possibly the address of the Gospel of Luke).

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Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem still has a metropolitan see in Caesarea Maritima, currently occupied by metropolitan Basilios Blatsos, since 1975.

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Caesarea Maritima remained the provincial capital throughout the 5th and 6th centuries.

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Caesarea Maritima was lost for good by the Byzantines to the Muslim conquest in 640.

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Caesarea Maritima was taken by Baldwin I in the wake of the First Crusade, in 1101.

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Baldwin sent a message to emir of Caesarea Maritima, demanding him to surrender the city or face a siege, but the Muslims refuse.

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Caesarea Maritima became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1516, along with the rest of the Levant, and remained under Ottoman rule for four centuries.

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Caesarea Maritima lay in ruins until the nineteenth century, when the village of Qisarya was established in 1884 by Bushnaks (Bosniaks) – immigrants from Bosnia, who built a small fishing village on the ruins of the fortified Crusader city.

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In 1952, a Jewish town of Caesarea Maritima was established near the ruins of the old city, which in 2011 were incorporated into the newly-created Caesarea Maritima National Park.

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Since 2000 the site of Caesarea Maritima is included in the "Tentative List of World Heritage Places" of the UNESCO.

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