Hippodrome in Caesarea Israel
Hippodrome at Caesarea, an exciting oval shaped track! It was in the Hippodrome that horses were raced! It was here that the greatest chariot races competed. Can you imagine the thrill as the chariots rushed by? This Hippodrome was located adjacent to the palace of King Herod. The palace was built on the promontory by the sea. The palace was elaborately constructed, with magnificent columns. The Hippodrome was no less appealing to the eye.
Today, this magnificent track, that was only recently discovered by archaeologists in 1992 stands tall. This amazing Hippodrome, that is over 2,000 years old, is still intact on the Eastern side. It is complete with all twelve rows of seats and the aisles are still in excellent shape. How amazing it is to think back and image the horses racing by. It is time to begin! The chariots are ready! And the race is on!
In the second century A.D. the Hippodrome got a needed renovation. The complete southern side of the Hippodrome was reconstructed. This amazing new amphitheater was used for gladiatorial contests. The newer sections were discovered during excavation. Today, this amphitheater is used for concerts and other community functions. How magnificent and beautiful it is! It is on one of the worlds greatest harbors! It is facing the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. Come, take a step back into history! Discover what it meant to be Roman.
During the time of King Herod, chariot races were the most common form of public entertainment. The chariot drivers stood proud as they each drove their chariots in the race. The public worshiped these winning drivers, must as the public today adores the top winning athletes. In the beginning, there were only 12 races a day. As the years wore on, these were increased to as many as 24 races a day. To be Roman, was to take pride in it’s racing culture.
Today, these drivers and their chariots are remembered on the Northern side of the Hippodrome. There, on the banks of the Mediterranean Sea, is a wire chariot! Only it’s driver is missing. What an amazing tribute!
While in Caesarea take time to walk through the amazing ruins. Discover the Hippodrome! Relax and let your mind wander. Put yourself in the chariot! The horses are eager to go! The driver is ready! The race has begun!