MembersCrusader Market Opens in Ancient Caesarea

If the Crusaders had known that their only lasting physical mark on the Holy Land would be a theme park in the reborn Jewish state, they might have stayed in Europe.

By Michael Selutin |
Caesarea
Photo: Flash 90

The coastal city of Caesarea, which the Crusaders ruled for nearly 200 years, has seen yet another stunning restoration project opened to the public this summer.

Baroness Ariane de Rothschild, chairwoman of the Edmond de Rothschild Foundation, which provided most of the funds for the excavations in Caesarea, inaugurated a new promenade along Crusader-era city walls. The restoration includes fortifications, towers and the town’s central marketplace at that time in its history. Over 150 million shekels ($42 million) went into the project, which not only aims to be a tourist attraction, but to create employment, provide infrastructure and boost education.

King Herod built ancient Caesarea as a leading port city during the Roman era. Today’s archaeological park attracts countless tourists. Until now, the most popular attractions in Caesarea have been the breathtakingly well-preserved Roman theater (which is still used for open-air concerts), the massive hippodrome and the ornate bathhouse.

The later Crusader town of 1251 AD provides an extraordinary view into the Middle Ages. Restored buildings can be visited, and one can even wade through the tunnels that were built to...

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