The Aqueduct at Caesarea

Touring Israel

As a private tour guide in Israel when I’m taking my clients to visit one of the most amazing sites in Israel – Caesarea Maritima. I try not to skip over the water aqueduct. The aqueduct at Caesarea was built by Herod the Great (r. 37 BCE to 4 BCE). It brought the freshwater from freshwater springs that gush at The Carmel Range. The water flowed on a single raised canal, and in one section it is dug into the rock.

The Aqueduct at Caesarea is From The Time of Herod

The aqueduct at Caesarea is a known spot for those visiting Caesarea National Park. Since the city grew and the water was not sufficient, another aqueduct was added by the Legions of Emperor Hadrian (2nd-century CE) It brought water from the Tanninim (Crocodiles) River. This section, with a tunnel of about 6 km long, was tapped into the older aqueduct and doubled its capacity. This new source of water was added to the right of the first canal, and the aqueduct was thus doubled in width. The builders used the same building materials and style, so it is hard to see that the pair of tunnels were built at different ages.

The City In The Crusader Period

After that time the aqueduct was beyond repair. Therefore, in the Crusaders Period (12th Century CE), a third, smaller, canal was built and replaced the first two. At that time the City was smaller and required less water. So the third smaller canal was sufficient.

There is actually Another (fourth) lower aqueduct in Caesarea that was built during the Byzantine period. It was built, in order to satisfy the growing needs for freshwater supply to the large city. This aqueduct started from a new source of water: the springs at Maagan Michael, several kilometers north of Jiser-E-Zarka. Since the water level was too low, a dam was built in order to create a lake, thus raising the water levels at the source. Then, a canal was dug in the sandstone ridge and brought the water to the city. This canal was laid lower and to the east of the raised Aqueduct.



Hi! My name is Arik Haglili, an Israeli native who decided to dedicate his life to share my knowledge about the Holy Land to those that are interested to know more about this amazing piece of land. My career as a private tour guide started at the International School For the Studying of the Holocaust and the rest is history. 

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