Caesarea was one of the largest cities in the Middle East

Caesarea was one of the largest cities in the Middle East

6/27/2021, 4:16:03 PM
Caesarea was one of the largest cities in the Middle East during antiquity. The metropolis was known for its grand avenues, temples, palaces, baths and public buildings in Hellenic-Roman style. Its most characteristic buildings were its hippodrome and its theater overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Every 5 years, the structures hosted sporting events such as gladiator fights, horse races and theatrical productions. Merchants from the Roman Empire marveled at the city's infrastructure, comparing it to Athens in Greece or Alexandria in Egypt. The city also had a large library with more than 30,000 manuscripts, housing a theological school and an academic population. However, its most unique construction was its artificial port, the Port of Sebastos, with an area of ​​100,000 m² made of concrete, lime and mortar. All major structures were built during Herod's reign, 22 - 9 BC. To feed its 125,000 inhabitants who lived in an urban area of ​​3.7 km², Herod invested in a large aqueduct 16 km long, which brought water from rivers to the northeast. Around the 1st century BC, the Romans began to occupy the city and successively all of present-day Israel, until their domain became official. Thus, the province of Judea was established in 6 BC, Caesarea being its capital. The city's infrastructure would not last for long. The concrete and lime used in the construction of the port and its embankments were weaker than the Roman ports. Added to this, the region is on top of a geological fault. With the seismic action over the centuries, the area was uneven, leading to the degradation of its structures. Around the 6th century, the port was already unusable and most of the ancient residences were replaced by buildings from the Byzantine Empire. Only in 1950, archaeological expeditions found ruins from different periods of Caesaria, from antiquity to medieval times, making it a UNESCO heritage. Today, its most preserved buildings are the 1st floor of the theater, its hippodrome and the remains of its palaces and temples. Selected by @geopizza

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