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Qasr al Yahud – Holy to Christianity, Important to Judaism and Islam

Qasr al Yahud means the “Castle of the Jews” in Arabic and this is the name used by both Jews and Christians today. Interestingly, Arabs refer to the site as “al Maghtas” which means immersion. The site is located in the Jordan River Valley just north of the Dead Sea. When next traveling to the Dead Sea beaches, Qumran or Masada from Jerusalem it is well worth the short detour to visit the site. Regardless of your faith or lack thereof, Qasr al Yahud on the banks of the River Jordan, is both a beautiful and fascinating place to visit. For Christians of all denominations the site is both spiritual and holy since it was here, according to tradition, where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist

Caesarea, The Great City Built by Herod the Great

Not everyone thought he was so great but that’s how he is known to the world – Herod the Great. He was definitely a great builder. Not only did he (re)build the Second Temple in Jerusalem and the palace/fort in Masada, but he also built a magnificent port city at Caesarea. As the name suggests Herod dedicated this port city to his Roman overlord – Augustus Caesar, who kept him on the throne of Judea. Long before Herod established the city, Caesarea was a small docking station built by the Phoenicians around the 4th Century BCE. The Phoenicians called the place Strato’s Tower which was used as a supply station between the ports of Lebanon and Jaffa. In the year 96 BCE Jewish King Alexander Ja

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