Spectacular vaults and treasures: Caesarea Harbor Visitorsโ€™ Center

28.12.2021

2,000 years ago, King Herod built magnificent stone vaults in Caesarea, and now they have become an impressive visitor center. So what are you waiting for? Come visit.

0384_Assaf-Pinchuk-photography Photo: Assaf Pinchuk

The visitor center is open to the public, subject to the โ€œpurple badgeโ€ directives (mask mandatory, limited capacity)

Winter opening hours (Nov-March): 9:30 to 16:00 (last entry half an hour earlier), Fridays to 15:00
Summer opening hours (April-Oct): 9:30 to 17:00 (last entry half an hour earlier), Fridays to 16:00

โ— Mask is mandatory during the visit. Please keep your distance.
โ— The exhibition is shown in Hebrew, English and Arabic. The film about King Herod is available in Hebrew and English. Ask for subtitles in other languages at the reception desk.
โ— Length of visit: approx.25 minutes. There are no guided tours in the visitor center.
โ— For groups of more than 10 visitors, it is recommended to book a visit by clicking here.
โ— For more details, visit the Caesarea Harbor Visitorsโ€™ Center website or call *6550

Price

The entrance to the visitor center is included in the full ticket to Caesarea National Park. Did you pay to enter the port only? The entrance ticket can be completed at the reception desk located inside the visitor center.
Entrance fee to the National Park area (full ticket):
โ€ข 39 NIS per adult.
โ€ข 24 NIS per child.
โ€ข Free for National Park subscribers.

Contact

For groups of 10 pax and more, it is recommended to book a visit in advance by filling this form or calling *6550.
Phone number at the visitor center: 04-6268854

The visitor center is accessible to the disabled population.

Caesarea Harbor Visitorsโ€™ Center

The visitor center in Caesarea is significant to the impressive history of the city and King Herodโ€™s legacy. Over the years, the Ancient Port City, established about 2,000 years ago, revealed additional layers of its rich past. Each archeological excavation gives us a deeper look at the history of the city and reveals treasures and spectacular buildings that have waited thousands of years to be discovered.
After five years of excavation, conservation and development, the Caesarea Harbor Visitorsโ€™ Center, established right inside the impressive and restored harbor vaults, was opened to the public in June 2019. The center combines the ancient world with the modern world, archeological antiquities and innovative technology.

A journey through the remnants of the past: reconstruction and development

The restoration project lasted about five years, and included field research and work by the Authority of Antiquities and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, a labor that revealed treasures that had been hidden in Caesarea land for over 2,000 years.

Herod – a king, an architect and one of the most controversial figures in human history as well as in Jewish history in particular – left his legacy in our country. The magnificent construction projects he established were spread throughout the land of Israel. Caesarea, without a doubt, is one of the most recognizable cities, a city that has become a very popular tourist destination in Israel.

The new visitor center in Caesarea. Photo: Yoni Rickner

The huge vaults – 7.40 meters high and 21 meters deep – were erected by King Herod as part of the storage system in the harbor, and served as the basis for the temple stage, a temple he dedicated to his patron – Emperor Augustus. The place was the pulsating heart of the city, which was a major crossroads of the global economy and trade between East and West in ancient times.

What is a vault?

A vault is an arched roof. It originated in Roman architecture and its main function as a structural element is roofing and carrying the load on it.
Four of the 14 vaults have been restored and filled with fascinating content. Each of the four restored vaults provides an innovative-ancient experience for visitors, and constitutes a kind of ‘window to the Mediterranean’ on the shores of Caesarea throughout history.

In one of the vaults in the visitors’ center, an impressive film awaits you, telling the story of King Herod, a complex and headstrong character, a man who loved to build, and established the city and the port. The film presents Herod from a new and bold angle and is projected entirely in a vertical format, in accordance with the “screen” – the vault, which rises to a height of about 8 meters.

The story of Herod from the vault. Photo: Assaf Pinchuk

In another vault, youโ€™ll see a computer animation that gives you a unique view of the port of Caesarea from ancient times to the present day.
In the third restored vault, a dynamic map of the ancient shipping routes will show you that the maritime trade routes to and outside Caesarea included not only Rome but also other destinations in the Mediterranean basin, such as Marseille and Carthage.

Donโ€™t wait any longer: visit the innovative and fascinating visitor center at Caesarea National Park.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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