Fund Edmond de Rothschild, the Company for the development of Caesarea, the Management of national parks and the antiquities authority has announced the launch of a project to turn Caesarea into one of the main tourist sites of Israel, comparable only to Jerusalem.
The project involves the restoration of antique and medieval monuments, to ensure access and total reconstruction of the national Park. At an estimated cost of 100 million shekels.
Work is planned to attract students from neighboring Ohr Akiva, cadets, students and enthusiasts of the study of history. «They will be able to volunteer on a dig, to take part in the transformation of an exciting future in the brilliant past,» organizers said.
Caesarea is not the first time a challenge to Jerusalem. It was built by king Herod the Great as the capital of the Hellenistic Jews, the alternative to a city that already a thousand years was the capital of the Jewish Kingdom.
In Caesarea under Herod erected buildings contrary to the Jewish tradition: the Hippodrome, the theatre, baths, pagan temples. A significant part of the population was Gentile. After the liquidation of the Kingdom, the city became the main residence of the Procurator of Judea.
Convenient port of Caesarea allowed to store the value and in the Byzantine era, when it became one of the main trading cities of the Eastern Mediterranean. After caused by the earthquakes and wars of decline, she again flourished under the crusaders.
According to the Director of the Company for the development of Caesarea Michael Karsenti, after completion of the archaeological Park stretching from Jisr AZ-Sarki to kibbutz Sdot Yam. «It will transform the city into an object of global significance», he added.
«At this point unearthed only 6% of the city. Today we are launching the project which will represent Caesarea in all its glory. We encourage everyone to become partners of this project», – said the head of the Department of antiquities of Israel hason.
During the press conference were presented and recent archaeological finds, among them fragments of the temple built by Herod in honor of his patron Emperor Augustus. Experts told about the excavations conducted in the ancient synagogue of Caesarea and the Crusader period.
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