Sea Ports Throughout History
Want a trip that truly takes you back in time? Samantha Israel Tours’ ‘hot and now tours’ has just the trip for you! Sea ports have been essential to travel and trade throughout time. The land of Israel has been just as essential. It is what connects Europe, Asia, and Africa together. Sea travel is one of the oldest ways of travel. So it is reasonable that the two match up well. So when we look at the ports of Israel- Jaffa, Atlit, Haifa- we get a great snapshot of the an important part of the country. When you see these ports from throughout time, you can really understand what true gems we really have in Israel.
We will begin the day at the Jaffa Port, one of the oldest ports in the world. It is the location of the story of Jonah and the whale. Jonah tried to run away from something G-d wanted him to do, and ran to the port of Jaffa. The cedarwood for the First and Second Temple arrived to the land through the port of Jaffa. It was in Jaffa where Peter had his famous dream that allowed Christians not to follow the Jewish laws of kashrut. During the 1st major wave of Jewish immigration before the state of Israel in 1882, and others as well, the ships would dock outside of Jaffa Port. After docking, the passengers had to come in on smaller boats. We will explore all of these stories and more to really understand the Jaffa Port’s role. Learn more here.
Caesarea National Park
King Herod built Caesarea from the ground up in 22 B.C.E. The remains paint a great picture with what was like at the city’s peak—full with the King’s castle, an amphitheater, and remains built in the Crusader period! Much of it is still unexcavated. Think about how huge the Roman Empire was! This was their port…and remains still exist in the shores of Caesarea. We will explore all we have to see in the ancient port of Caesarea.
We will then continue to the aqueduct that fed water into the ancient city of Caesarea. As you may tell by the theme water plays a BIG role in daily life. At its height, Caesarea needed significant amounts of water on a daily basis. The sophisticated water system met a big challenge and provided the city with the needed water. We can see the amazing remains of the system that brought the water from the original source to the city. To learn more, click here.
Tel Dor is an ancient port that even the ancient Egyptians used for their travels. An ancient Egyptian document mentions it when an Egyptian Priest is on his way to Lebanon to buy cedarwood stopped here. Robbers stole all of his money! Merchants used it throughout antiquity as a port and center of trade. After thousands of years of not being used, pioneers created a factory for the glass bottles of wine in the same spot. We will explore both periods and the connections between them.
Atlit, a little further north on the shoreline, is a site where the British would hold clandestine immigrants until naturalized or sent to Cyprus where there were more camps. It was a complicated time because to put Jews, or any person, in such camps was problematic. But they were breaking British Law as the British were in control here. After the State of Israel was born in 1948, the camp was reserved as a museum. The officials reserved it to always remember what happened here. We will explore Atlit and the camp, and its impact on the chapter in history called the British Mandate over Israel.