About Caesarea Aqueduct
The Caesarea Aqueduct is the picturesque, well-preserved ruin of the ancient Roman aqueduct which served the city of Caesarea.
History of the Caesarea Aqueduct
Mostly constructed during the reign of King Herod the Great, the majority of the great public buildings, infrastructure and monuments of Caesarea were built from around 22 BC onwards. The city became a thriving commercial hub which hosted sporting events and which flourished further under the Byzantines.
However, the city had no reliable fresh water supply at the time of construction and the growing population demanded greater supplies of water to furnish the various public and private demands of a Roman city. The aqueduct was therefore built to provide this supply and was further expanded as the city grew in the following centuries. Most of the water supply came from Shuni, 12km north east of the city.
In later years Caesarea’s importance diminished and, though the aqueduct fell in to disuse, it has remained in a relatively good state of preservation to this day.
Caesarea Aqueduct today
One of the best preserved stretches of aqueduct is on Caesarea’s beach, offering gorgeous, extremely photographic, views. It remains a somewhat mind-boggling feat of the Roman engineering, and is a particular hit with children. You can also spot remnants of the aqueduct throughout the main body of Caesarea’s ruins. The aqueduct is free to view at all times, but offers little in the way of information nearby. It’s worth reading up in depth before you go if you’re interested.
Today the aqueduct is sort of split into 2 parts: high level 1 (the Herodian aqueduct), and high level 2, which was constructed later, around 130AD. The aqueduct was in use for over 1200 years, supplying the port of Caesarea with water.
Getting to Caesarea Aqueduct
The aqueduct beach is a few kilometres north of the main ruins at Caesarea: you can either walk up the coastal footpath (the Israel National Trail) or drive back into town and round. There is ample parking at the beach itself.
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