Caesarea is one of the most important cities in the Roman World, and a Crusader fortress along the road from Acre to Jerusalem.
During the life of Jesus, Caesarea was a magnificent Roman port city. Much of it has been restored today and one can easily imagine how imposing it must have been.
Although Jesus may or may not have had time to visit the majestic Roman amphitheater where concerts and plays are still being performed today, he surely would have benefited from the port facilities when seeking passage abroad or possibly when arriving back in the Holy Land, as a young child, after his stay with Joseph and Mary in Alexandria, Egypt.
As he walked the streets of Caesarea, Jesus would have enjoyed the many markets, the baths (although it is unlikely that he would have entered in), the temples to Rome and Augustus and the imposing public buildings. He might have even arrived during one of the rare major sports competitions or gladiator games, although he most likely would have turned from the latter in compassionate sorrow.
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The apostle Peter came to Cornelius’ house, which was located here (Acts 10), and Paul passed through the city on several occasions on his journeys abroad (Acts 9:30; 18:22; 21:8-16), and was also imprisoned here. The Roman governors Festus and Felix held him before he was able to travel to Rome to appeal his case to Nero (Acts 23:22-26:32).
As you walk the streets today you will of course be accosted by modern bars and coffee houses, but as you walk near the water’s edge you might still be able to imagine the many sailing vessels coming and going daily in this busy bustling port of Roman times.