25/02/2006

Ashqelon, now an extensive bathing beach

 
 
Ashqelon city (2006 pop. 110.187), SW Israel, on the Mediterranean Sea. It is a beach resort in an area of citrus groves and cotton plantations. Its industries process agricultural products and manufacture cement, plastics, electronic equipment, and watches. Nearby is the site of ancient Ashqelon, or Ashkelon, whose history dates back to the 3d millenium B.C. It was a trade center and port and a seat of worship of the goddess Astarte. Ancient Ashqelon was conquered by the Philistines in the late 12th cent. B.C. and completely rebuilt. It flourished under the Greeks and Romans; Herod, believed to have been born there, greatly enlarged the city. It was taken by the Arabs in A.D. 638, conquered by the Crusaders King Baldwin II in 1135  and occupied by Richard I in 1191, and completely destroyed by Muslims in 1290. An Israeli settlement was established there in 1948. In 1955 the modern city of Ashqelon was founded when Afridar, a town established by South African Jews in 1952, and Migdal, a former Arab town, were merged. A national park in Ashqelon includes Greek and Roman ruins and the remains of ancient synagogues. A Roman tomb (3d cent.) decorated with frescoes, the ruins of a Byzantine church, and a wall built by Crusaders are also in the city.
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 10 kilometer-long Ashkelon beach attracts both local and foreign beach-goers. Ashkelon, proclaimed a national tourism site, is rapidly developing this sphere.

 

 

 
 
The Crusaders built ancient columns into the port defences.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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13/01/2006

Caesarea - Sunset on the Mediterranean sea

The Roman amphitheater was built facing the sea. Today spectators seating in the restored galleries may still admire the sunset while listening to concerts under the aegis of the Israeli Music Festival.

 

 

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School boys gather at the Roman amphitheater for a break .

 

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 Caesarea - ruins of Promontory Palace

 

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Caesarea - Herodian aqueduct

Caesarea Herodian aqueduct.JPG

 

 

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12/01/2006

Saint-Jean-d'Acre - ruins of the Crusaders' harbour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

Modern fishing harbour in Akko 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 

11:28 Posted by Jean Jacques in 09 Caesarea - Ashqelon | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |

19/11/2005

Caesarea - Crusaders' citadel ruins

 

This citadel moat was built by the Crusaders.

 

 

The Arches were designed by craftsmen from the Western countries.

 

 
 
 
 

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Caesarea: residence of Pontius Pilatus

 

The book of Acts refers repeatedly to the city. Peter visited Caesarea (Acts 10). Paul was held prisoner in Caesarea for two years (Acts 23:23-23:30), while awaiting trial. It was from here that Paul sailed to Rome (Acts 27:1). Origen and Eusebius were important Christians of Caesarea. The city was eventually destroyed in the Moslem invasions of 638.

 

The name Pilatus appears on a bloc of stone

 
 
 
 

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Caesarea Herod's aqueduct

 

 

The lack of fresh water at Herod's new city required a lengthy aqueduct to bring water from springs at the base of Mt. Carmel nearly ten miles away.  In order that the water would flow by the pull of gravity, the aqueduct was built on arches and the gradient was carefully measured.  Later Hadrian and the Crusaders would attach additional channels to Herod's aqueduct.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Caesarea tourists' attraction

 

In summer, the Roman Theater, fully restored from the rubble left after the Arab conquest, offers concerts under the aegis of the Israeli Music Festival.

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 

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Caesarea Promontory Palace

 

 

The Promontory Palace : Josephus called this a "most magnificent palace" that Herod the Great built on a promontory jutting out into the waters of Caesarea.  The pool in the center was nearly Olympic in size, and was filled with fresh water.  A statue once stood in the center.  Paul may have been imprisoned on the grounds of this palace (Acts 23:35).

 

 

 

Caesarea Maritima

Herod the Great ruled the Land of Israel from 37 to 4 B.C. During that time he constructed a large port city called Caesarea to honor Roman Caesar Augustus. The project was built on the remains of an earlier Phoenician city called Strato’s Tower. Once it was completed Caesarea took on even more importance than Jerusalem and became the heart of Roman rule in the land. Herod built a port in the bay, and erected all the cultural institutions found in every great Greco-Roman city, a theater, a hippodrome, and a luxurious bathhouse. In order to supply water to the city’s ever-growing population, he prepared an aqueduct system stretching from the springs of Mt. Carmel to Caesarea. Part of this system is still visible today.

 

 

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Caesarea restored Roman Theater - Pâques 1985

 

The Roman theater was so designed that from their seats, the audience could look out over the orchestra and the remains of the stage buildings, and see the sea and the setting sun.

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 

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Caesarea Harbour

 

Herod's Harbor : This site was insignificant until Herod the Great began to develop it into a magnificent harbor befitting his kingdom.  The harbor was built using materials that would allow the concrete to harden underwater.  The three-acre harbor would accommodate 300 ships, much larger than the modern harbour existing today.

 

 

 
 
 

 

 
 

 

The breakwaters of Herod's magnificent harbour, sunken by seismic activity, lie beneath the waves offshore.

 

 

 

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