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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Aqueduct on Caesarea beach
Hebrew קֵיסָרְיָה
(Translit.) Keisarya
Also spelled Qesarya (officially)
District Haifa
Coordinates 32°30′N 34°54′E / 32.5°N 34.9°E / 32.5; 34.9Coordinates: 32°30′N 34°54′E / 32.5°N 34.9°E / 32.5; 34.9
Population 4,400 (2006)
Jurisdiction 35,000 dunams (35 km2; 14 sq mi)
Caesarea is located in Israel

Caesarea (Hebrew: קֵיסָרְיָה‎; Arabic: قيسارية‎, Kaysaria) is a town in Israel on the outskirts of Caesarea Maritima, the ancient port city. It is located mid-way between Tel Aviv and Haifa (45 km), on the Israeli Mediterranean coast near the city of Hadera. Modern Caesarea as of December 2007 has a population of 4,500 people,[1] and is the only Israeli locality managed by a private organization, the Caesarea Development Corporation, and also one the most populous localities not recognized as a local council. It lies under the jurisdiction of the Hof HaCarmel Regional Council.




Early history

Caesarea is believed to have been built on the ruins of Stratonospyrgos (Straton's Tower), founded by Straton I of Sidon. It was probably an agricultural storehouse in its earliest configuration.[2] In 90 BCE, Alexander Jannaeus captured Straton's Tower as part of his policy of developing the shipbuilding industry and enlarging the Hasmonean kingdom. Straton's Tower remained a Jewish city for two generations, until the Roman conquest of 63 BCE when the Romans declared it an autonomous city. The pagan city underwent vast changes under Herod the Great, who renamed it Caesarea in honor of the Roman emperor, Julius Caesar.

In 22 BCE, Herod began construction of a deep sea harbor and built storerooms, markets, wide roads, baths, temples to Rome and Augustus, and imposing public buildings.[3] Every five years the city hosted major sports competitions, gladiator games, and theatrical productions.

Caesarea also flourished during the Byzantine period. In the 3rd century the Jewish sages exempted the city from Jewish commandments as by this time the majority of the inhabitants were non-Jewish.[4] The city was chiefly a commercial centre relying on trade. The area was only seriously farmed during the Rashidun Caliphate period, apparently until the Crusader conquest in the eleventh century.[4] Over time, the farms were buried under the sands shifting along the shores of the Mediterranean.

A portion of the Crusader walls and moat, as they exist today

In 1251, Louis IX fortified the city. The French king ordered the construction of high walls (parts of which are still standing) and a deep moat. However strong the walls were, they could not keep out the sultan Baybars, who ordered his troops to scale the walls in several places simultaneously, enabling them to penetrate the city.

Caesarea lay in ruins until the nineteenth century when the village of Qisarya (Arabic: قيسارية‎, the Arabic name for Caesarea) was established in 1884 by Muslim immigrants from Bosnia who built a small fishing village on the ruins of the Crusader fortress on the coast.[5][6] The kibbutz of Sdot Yam was established 1 km south in 1940. Many of Qisarya's inhabitants left before 1948, when a railway was built bypassing the port, ruining their livelihood. Qisarya had a population of 960 in 1945.[7] During the 1948 Arab-Israeli War part of the population fled for fear of attacks, before it was conquered by Jewish forces in February, after which the remaining inhabitants were expelled and the village houses were demolished.[8]

Modern town

With the establishment of Israel, the Rothschild family made an agreement to transfer most of their vast land holdings to the new state. A different arrangement was reached however for the 35,000 dunams of land the family owned in and around modern Caesarea: After turning over the land to the state, it was leased back (for a period of 200 years) to a new charitable foundation. In his will, Edmond James de Rothschild stipulated that this foundation would further education, arts and culture, and welfare in Israel. The Caesarea Edmond Benjamin de Rothschild Foundation was formed and run based on the funds generated by the sale of Caesarea land which the Foundation is responsible for maintaining. The Foundation is owned half by the Rothschild Family, and half by the State of Israel.

The Foundation established the Caesarea Edmond Benjamin de Rothschild Development Corporation Ltd. (CDC) in 1952 to act as its operations arm. The company transfers all profits from the development of Caesarea to the Foundation, which in turns contributes to organizations that advance higher education and culture across Israel.


Caesarea is located on the Israeli Mediterranean coastal plain, the historic land bridge between Europe, Asia and Africa approximaetly half-way between the major cities of Tel Aviv 45 kilometers (28 mi) and Haifa 45 kilometers (28 mi). Caesarea is situated approximately 5 kilometers (3 mi) north west of the city of Hadera, and is bordered to the east by the Caesarea Industrial Zone and the city of Or Akiva. Directly to the north of Caesarea is the town of Jisr az-Zarqa.

Caesarea is divided into a number of residential zones, known as clusters. The most recent of these to be constructed is Cluster 13, which, like all the clusters is given a name, in this case, "The Golf Cluster", oweing to its close proximity to the Caesarea Golf Course. These neighborhoods are universally affluent, although vary largely in terms of average plot size.

Beyond the eastern boundary of the residential area of Caesarea is Highway 2, Israel's main highway linking Tel Aviv to Haifa. Caesarea is linked to the road by the Caesarea Interchange in the south, and Or Akiva Interchange in the center. Slightly further to the east lies Highway 4, providing more local links to Hadera, Binyamina, Zichron Yaakov, and the moshavim and kibbutzim of Emek Hefer. Highway 65 starts at the Caesarea Interchange and runs westwards into the Galilee and the cities of Pardes Hanna-Karkur, Umm al-Fahm, and Afula.

Caesarea shares a railway station with nearby Pardes Hanna-Karkur which is situated in the Caesarea Industrial Zone and is served by the suburban line between Binyamina and Tel Aviv with two trains per hour. The Binyamina Railway Station, a major regional transfer station is also located nearby.


As of December 2007, Caesarea had a population of approximately 4,500.[1] This represented a 2.5% growth rate over the past year, in part due to the development of new homes in the new Cluster 13. Estimations show that as of mid-2008, the population had risen by about 100 to 4,600.[1]

Caesarea Foundation

The Caesarea Edmond Benjamin de Rothschild Development Corporation (Hebrew: החברה לפיתוח קיסריה אדמונד בנימין דה רוטשילד) is the operational arm of the Caesarea Edmond Benjamin de Rothschild Foundation, whose goal is to establish a unique community that combines quality of life and safeguarding the environment with advanced industry and tourism.

Today, the Chairman of the Caesarea Foundation and the CDC is Baron Benjamin de Rothschild, the great grandson the Baron Edmond de Rothschild. The deputy chairman is Avraham Biger. In recent years, the Foundation has donated over 100 million shekels to organizations such as the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, the Bezalel Academy, Yad Vashem, the Open University of Israel, as well as to theaters, museums, and musical projects across the country. Sizeable grants have also been made to the neighboring towns of Or Akiva and Jisr az-Zarqa.

Caesarea remains today the only locality in Israel managed by a private organization rather than a municipal government. As well as carrying out municipal services, the Caesarea Development Corporation markets plots for real-estate development, manages the nearby industrial park, and runs the Caesarea's golf course and country club, Israel's only 18 hole golf course.

The Ralli Museum in Caesarea

Modern Caesarea is one of Israel's most upscale residential communities. The Baron de Rothschild still maintains a home in Caesarea, as do many business tycoons from Israel and abroad.


Caesarea is very much a dormitory settlement with many of its residents commuting to Tel Aviv and Haifa. On the outskirts of Caesarea, however, lies the Caesarea Business Park, a 3500 dunam business park. The park houses approximately 170 companies and employs about 5,500 people. Industry on the park varies from distribution to hi-tech sectors. The residential neighborhoods have a small shopping concourse with a newsagent, supermarket, optician, and bank. There are a number of restaurants and cafes scattered across the town, with a number within the ancient port.


The Roman theatre

The Roman theatre, located at the site, often hosts concerts by major Israeli and international artists, such as Shlomo Artzi, Yehudit Ravitz, Mashina, Deep Purple, Bjork and others. Furthermore, the port has in recent years become home to the annual Caesarea Jazz Festival which offers three evenings of top class jazz performances by leading international artists. Furthermore, the Ralli Museum in Caesarea houses a large collection of South American art and several Salvador Dalí originals.[9]


Within Israel, Caesarea is noted for being the location of the country's only full size golf course. The Caesarea Golf Club was established after James de Rothschild was reminded by the dunes surrounding Caesarea of Scotland's sandy golf courses. He decided that he would one day build a golf course in Caesarea, and upon his death, the James de Rothschild Foundation established the course. In 1958 a Golf Club Committee was established, and a course designed by Fred Smith was built. American professional golfer Herman Barron, the first Jew to win a PGA Tour event, played a large role in the development of the course.[10] It was officially opened in 1961 by Abba Eban and Arthur Luria. Since this time, the Caesarea Golf Club has hosted golf competitions every four years in the Maccabiah Games. As of 2008, the course is being reconstructed to the design of Pete Dye.

Caesarea also has a country club, effectively a health complex housing, amongst other things, a semi-Olympic-sized swimming pool, gym, tennis club, and martial arts studios.[11] At nearby Sdot Yam is a well renowned water-sport club whilst the Acquaduct Beach at Caesarea is popular for swimming.

Notable residents

See also




  1. ^ a b c "Table 3 - Population of Localities Numbering Above 1,000 Residents and Other Rural Population". Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. 2008-06-30. Retrieved 2008-11-22. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Crossan, John Dominic (1999) Birth of Christianity: Discovering What Happened in the Years Immediately After the Execution of Christ Continuum International Publishing Group, ISBN 0567086682 p 232
  4. ^ a b Safrai, Zeev (1994) The Economy of Roman Palestine Routledge, ISBN 041510243X p 374
  5. ^ Laurence Oliphant, Haifa; or, Life in Palestine (Edinburgh, Blackwood, 1887), p182.[1]
  6. ^ "Caesarea". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved 2007-10-22. 
  7. ^ Government of Palestine, Village Statistics, 1945.
  8. ^ Benny Morris, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949, Cambridge University Press, 1989.
  9. ^ "Caesarea". Weizmann Institute. Retrieved 2008-01-26. 
  10. ^ Herman Barron bio page on International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame website
  11. ^ Country Club - About

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Sharon : Caesarea

Caesarea (Hebrew: Qeysarya, קיסריה) is a small, very well-to-do town and extensive archaeological site on the Mediterranean coast of Israel, located some 50 km north of Tel Aviv and several kms north of Hadera. Population 4,200.


In the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century Baron Edmond James de Rothschild purchased much of the land around Caesarea - with the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, the Rothschild family gifted these holdings to the Caesarea Foundation. The Caesarea Edmond Benjamin de Rothschild Development Corporation [1] (called in Hebrew החברה לפיתוח קיסריה אדמונד בנימין דה רוטשילד) remains the operational arm of the Caesarea Edmond Benjamin de Rothschild Foundation.

Caesarea is therefore only locality in Israel which is managed by a private organization (the Caesarea Development Corporation) rather than a municipal governmental organization. Caesarea is considered one of the most upscale residential developments in Israel. The current Baron de Rothschild still maintains a home in Caesarea, as do many other wealthy and influential individuals and foreign residents.

Beyond the ancient remains, Caesarea is a town devoted to tourists and to luxurious living. Some of Israel’s finest homes are located here and it is also home of Israel’s only 18-hole golf course (designed by the renowned Robert Trent-Jones), a luxury hotel, a vacation village, miles of sandy beaches, and a series of attractive restaurants, galleries and boutiques huddled around the Mediterranean cove. And, of course, visitors marvel at its extraordinary archeological attractions, not least of which is the Roman theatre, where concerts, entertainment extravaganzas and the annual International Opera Festival are held.

Get in

Caesarea National Park is on the coastal road, near the city of Caesarea and Kibbutz Sdot Yam and west of Or Akiva. Take the coastal road or the old Tel Aviv-Haifa highway number 2 to the interchange near the Orot Rabin power station; an alternate route is to drive to the park via Or Akiva.

  • The International Opera Festival Caesarea [3]
  • Caesarea Jazz Festival [4] - next held June 8-10, 2006
  • Caesarea Golf Club [5]
  • Grushka B&B and Villa [6] - located in nearby Binyamina (5 km)
  • Suite-Alma [7] - Located in Neot Golf Resort - Swimming pool, Tennis courts, Fitness room, Sauna, Squash, Mini golf, Kids playground and more...
Hotel Dan Caesarea
Hotel Dan Caesarea
  • Dan Caesarea Hotel [8], Tel: 972-3-5202552, Fax: 972-3-5480111, A luxury hotel with a country-estate ambiance, Picture a hotel where Roman antiquities can be found underfoot. Then imagine a garden enclosed hotel with the velvety greens of an 18-hole golf course right next door. The sea, sun, light and magic, the combination is remarkable, so is the hotel - the Dan Caesarea. A setting that thrills, interiors that delight. Ballrooms and terrace reception areas for conferences and celebrations. the Dan Caesarea offers boundless attractions with an ideal location halfway between Tel Aviv and Haifa. See Dan Caesarea Virtual Tour See also Video Tour of Dan Caesarea
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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Wikipedia has an article on:



From Latin Caesarēa, from Caesar.

Proper noun




  1. (historical) Name of numerous cities and locations in the Roman Empire, among them Caesarea Mazaca, capital of Cappadocia (modern Kayseri) and Caesarea Maritima, capital of province Palestine.


Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

(Palestinae), a city on the shore of the Mediterranean, on the great road from Tyre to Egypt, about 70 miles northwest of Jerusalem, at the northern extremity of the plain of Sharon. It was built by Herod the Great (B.C. 10), who named it after Caesar Augustus, hence called Caesarea Sebaste (Gr. Sebastos = "Augustus"), on the site of an old town called "Strato's Tower." It was the capital of the Roman province of Judaea, the seat of the governors or procurators, and the headquarters of the Roman troops. It was the great Gentile city of Palestine, with a spacious artificial harbour. It was adorned with many buildings of great splendour, after the manner of the Roman cities of the West. Here Cornelius the centurion was converted through the instrumentality of Peter (Acts 10:1, 24), and thus for the first time the door of faith was opened to the Gentiles. Philip the evangelist resided here with his four daughters (21:8). From this place Saul sailed for his native Tarsus when forced to flee from Jerusalem (9:30), and here he landed when returning from his second missionary journey (18:22). He remained as a prisoner here for two years before his voyage to Rome (Acts 24:27; 25:1, 4, 6, 13). Here on a "set day," when games were celebrated in the theatre in honour of the emperor Claudius, Herod Agrippa I. appeared among the people in great pomp, and in the midst of the idolatrous homage paid to him was suddenly smitten by an angel, and carried out a dying man. He was "eaten of worms" (12:19-23), thus perishing by the same loathsome disease as his granfather, Herod the Great. It still retains its ancient name Kaiseriyeh, but is now desolate. "The present inhabitants of the ruins are snakes, scorpions, lizards, wild boars, and jackals." It is described as the most desolate city of all Palestine.

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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