Herodian Amphitheatre


Seven-lap chariot races and bloody gladiatorial contests in which prisoners and slaves battled lions and crocodiles were held in the 10,000-seat amphitheatre (aka the hippodrome and the circus), the 250m-long dirt plaza between the harbour and the Promontory Palace. Because the chariots tended to crash when going around the turns, seats at each end of the amphitheatre were most prized.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Caesarea attractions

1. Bathhouse


The ruins of a large bathhouse are the only notable remnants of a Byzantine-era governor's palace at this site in Caesarea National Park.

2. Promontory Palace

0.12 MILES

Jutting into the sea next to the southern end of the Herodian amphitheatre, the Roman-era Promontory Palace includes a pool believed to have been used as…

3. Roman Theatre

0.18 MILES

Israel's most ancient theatre is used these days for open-air concerts by top-tier international and Israeli talent. Built by Herod, the impressive…

4. Crusader Church

0.18 MILES

One feature of the Crusader City site in Caesarea National Park is this 13th-century Crusader-era church. It was built over the site of an older Byzantine…

5. Caesarea Experience

0.22 MILES

The park's visitor centre, aka the Caesarea Experience, is located on the harbour's jetty. Inside, a 10-minute film (available in seven languages)…

6. Time Tower

0.23 MILES

Out on the the jetty, on the top floor of the Citadel, is the Time Tower, whose computer-generated graphics present the city at different periods in its…

7. Crusader City

0.23 MILES

The original 9th-century walls enclosing this fortified Arab city were bulked out into a Crusader fortress by King Louis IX of France (St Louis), better…

8. Cardo

0.31 MILES

Outside the Crusader walls, a few hundred metres east (away from the sea) from the park's northern entrance, is the fenced-in, excavated Cardo (Byzantine…