Follow the sign to National Park Apollonia by Yigael Yadin street. Igal Yadin was famous Israeli archaeologists but he is more known as Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces. Let us start to tell the story of Appolonia Arsuf. The city of Arsuf was founded at the beginning of the period of Persian rule (6th century to 4th century BC). The Phoenicians called the city captured by the Persians in honor of Reshef, the Phoenician god of war and thunder. The city was included in the protectorate of Sidon and entered the sphere of Phoenician influence. The Phoenician presence in Reshef grew rapidly and the city soon became famous, thanks to the production of a purple colored dye, produced from the shells of mollusks that lived along the coast, as well as extensive sea trade with the islands of the Aegean Sea and Greece.
Keep going to the National Park and tell the story. In the Hellenistic period, the city continued to develop. It was included in the sphere of influence of the Seleucids and served as an anchorage for the ships of the port of Jaffa. The rapidly growing Greek population, the development of Greek culture and the rapidly growing trade ties led to the Elenization of Arsuf and its renaming into Apollonia.
And here we are at the entrance to the Appolonia. Here you can see the entrance fees.
Payment station and storytelling at the same time! The replacement of the name from Phoenician to Greek was facilitated by the fact that Phoenician Reshef and Greek Apollo are very close in the pantheon of these two gods. In the Roman period, Appolonia became the center of the entire coastal region of the Sharon valley, and a large settlement between Jaffa and Caesarea.
After the entrance there are some spaces for BBQ, but let us follow the mystical history of the place and go forward to the ancient artifacts. In the 113 - 114 years BC. e. The city suffered from an earthquake, but was quickly restored and trade relations strengthened with the Italian peninsula and North Africa. In the Byzantine period, the city reached its greatest dawn. In the fifth and sixth centuries AD. Appolonia was renamed by the order of the Byzantine emperors and its name was changed into Sozousa, which served as the episcopal throne of the Prym of Palestine. There was a large Samaritan community in the city. The most developed industry in this period was the production of glass (geographically, this production spread upon 600 acres). During this period the city was an open city (i.e., not enclosed by a wall). In 640, c. e. the city was conquered by Muslims.
Soon, after repeated attacks by the Byzantine fleet, the Muslims surrounded the city with a fortress wall from the sea. The historical name of Arsuf was returned to Gorda. The area of the city and the port has significantly decreased. During this period, large markets for the sale of ceramics were created, crafts and spice trade developed. In the year 809 AD. After the death of the twentieth caliph Harun al Rashid, the Samaritan community was persecuted and the synagogue was destroyed.
Sunset and the another era in the history of Apollonia Arsuf. In the year 1099 AD. e. crusaders conquered Jerusalem, but only 2 years later Baldwin the First in 1101 managed to capture Arsuf with the help of the Genoese fleet. In the 12th century, Arsuf became a city of feudal management, in its northern part was built a castle, moat, filled with water, a lifting bridge and numerous working buildings.
The most famous ruler of Arsuf was Jean from Arsuf (1168-1198) from the mighty Ibelin family. After the defeat of the Crusaders in the Battle of Hattin in 1187 n. e., Arsuf was under Muslim control and, for four years, the fortifications of the city and the famous castle were completely destroyed. September 7, 1191 near Arsouf hosted a big battle between Richard the Lionheart and Salah a Dean.
The battle ended in the victory of the Crusaders and the restored presence of knights in the Holy Land would last for decades. Since 1207, c. e. crusaders were rapidly rebuilding many cities. In 1241 AD, in the fortified Arsuf a new fortress was built - a castle and a new large port was created. In 1261 an influential and powerful representation of the Order of the Hospitallers was established in the city. In March 1265, Sultan Beibars led a large army began a forty-day siege of the city, after which the fortress fell and was never rebuilt.
In the seventies and nineties of the 20th century, archaeological excavations were conducted by professors Israel Rolle, Eitan Alon and Oren Tal of the Tel Aviv University. Arsuf (Apolonia) was declared a national park and along it passes the "National Trail of Israel". Studies of the marine zone of the national park showed that in ancient times the coastal strip went to the sea much further than today, and the water level was much lower. It can be argued that the sea swallowed a considerable part of ancient Appolonia and the ongoing process of sea level rising could lead to the erosion of the natural rock within the next 20-30 years and the almost complete destruction of the present remnants of the ancient settlement. The Herzliya Municipality, Tel Aviv University, the Ministry of Antiquities and the National Parks Administration are making efforts to preserve and strengthen Arsuf through the construction of breakwaters and artificial embankments.
The Sidna Ali mosque is the most holy place for Muslims in the territory of modern Israel. In the mosque is the tomb of Ali bin Ulim, recognized as a saint in the Muslim tradition and is one of the heirs of the famous Omar ibn el Khattab. According to one tradition, Ali bin Ulim died in battles with the Crusaders near Apollonius in 1250 AD. e. The area itself was called the Sherm Sidna Ali from the Arabic "Sherlock" holiness - the sacredness of the place. Until 1948 on the site there was an Arab village with the same name.
According to legend, with the help of this stone, you could tell if people were lying or telling the truth. A truth teller, blindfolded, approached the wall and pointed at the stone, and the liar, despite the fact that he could stand directly in front of the stone, could never touch it with his hand.
A peculiar lie detector served as a yardstick in court cases and repeatedly, "liars" accused of delinquencies had to immediately atone their sins in the mosque itself. Today the stone is not preserved. Samaritans, confusing the pronunciation of the guttural and ringing letter "A" in the name "Ali", mistakenly recognized the grave as the burial place of Ali - the priest in Purgatory in Shiloh. In 1839, Moshe Montefiore and his wife, Yehudit, stayed in the mosque’s adjoining living and household premises during their stagecouch journey from Jaffa to Haifa. The mosque was restored in 1990 and is an active mosque today. And here please let me say good by!