Thursday, August 12, 2010

'Huppa' at Caesarea

Last month I attended a wedding at Caesarea , a former roman ancient port built by King Herod and named Caesarea in honor of the roman emperor Julius Caesar. The wedding took place in the vast garden attached to the banquet Hall "Sea Star", close to the beach of the Mediterranian Sea.

The religious ceremony held under a huppa ( huppa - a canopy under which a jewish bride and groom stand during the religious ceremony; it consists of a piece of cloth stretched over four poles and it symbolizes the home that the couple will build together) - was performed a few steps from the beach and the waves, with the sunset in the background. Very romantic!

In a place like this, one feels not only the cool breeze coming from the sea, but also the history and archeology of the whole area. It's a weird feeling, but it's there, and slightly diverts one's attention from the fine food, the elegant outfits of the guests, the great music, and even from the beautiful young bride and groom. This feeling stays with you till you leave the place.

Herod the Great who ruled in the Land of Israel from 37 to 4BC built the city in roman style with a roman theater, a hyppodrome, a luxurious bathouse, castles, towers, city walls, and an aqueduct system supplying water to the city. Many remains and ruins can still be seen over the place.

Modern Caesarea has rich people, prestigious real estate, golf and diving clubs, fancy hotels, yet it also has a roman theater (restored) which hosts many concerts and festivals throughout the year, a very impressive archeological park with findings of excavations of recent decades, a hyppodrome, museums. It's the ultimate touristic city displaying the ancient versus the new and offering romantic atmosphere to those looking for it.

the Aqueduct and the roman Theater


  1. What a beautiful place to begin a marriage! Mazel tov to the bride and groom.

  2. Fun stuff!! Oozes history and everyone there more passengers in time.

  3. Duta...BEAUTIFUL pictures! Thank you for always taking me to Israel & sharing it's amazing history in each of your posts. You always bring it to life!

  4. Angelina,

    Thank you for the Mazel Tov. I agree with you - that's a very beautiful and special place.


    Awsome indeed: the place, the young couple, the ceremony,the ambience... everything.

    One Fly,

    "..passengers in time". I like that. We are merely passangers in the journey of Time.

    Lisa Petrarca,

    I'm glad you like the pictures and my posts. Thanks for your kind words.

  5. Reading of Herod and Caesarea in the Bible, I cannot but be glad about this lovely post! A wedding by the sea is always a romantic affair and added to that the rich history and fine architecture makes it a dream wedding.
    I liked the pictures and the wonderful way you tie a personal affair with that of the historical is amazing.

    Joy always,

  6. Afterthought: I would have been glad if you told us about the food and the cuisine of that place along with pictures :)

  7. Such beautiful wedding and place.
    Thank you for sharing DUTA.
    Happy weekend.

  8. Hubby once was a polebearer for a huppa for one of his friends.
    Love the look of the amphitheater of Ceasarea (but not the events when they were in use).

  9. Its lovely to feel the past when one is spending time in an ancient place, and it looked a beautiful wedding in a wonderful setting.

  10. WOW! What a gorgeous place filled with beautiful ancient architecture and history to begin their new lives together as husband and wife. I just adore your beautiful pictures sweet Duta! :o)

    God bless and you have yourself the best weekend!!!

  11. @ The couple : I hope you hold each other close in best or bad times and have trust and faith all the way; Happy married life. :)
    Well because of you guys, I came to know of such wonderful marriage.

    @ DUTA : Marriage on the beach? Isn’t it Fascinating? The sound of the waves, the sun setting down and well decorated place. Everything looks like its some kind of dreamy beginning for the couple. Thanks for letting us know about that beautiful culture DUTA. :)

  12. What a lovely place for a wedding - thanks for sharing it with us!

  13. Susan Deborah,

    Thanks for your kind words about this post.

    Susan, regarding the food, I was told during the wedding, that the young couple had chosen the menu out of several options offered to them by the Banquet Hall. So, it was self-service, the main course consisting of meat/chicken/fish dishes with additions of rice, potatoes, beans, and veggie salads.

    Before the wedding ceremony and the main course, guests were approached by young waiters and offered sushi, salmon, tiny pieces of pizza of two kinds (with cheese and with meat),and pieces of grilled young chicks.

    There was a bar outside in the garden with a variety of cold and alcoholic beverages, and a coffee/tea/pastry corner. The last course, the dessert, included, hot mousse, cake, coffee.
    That's about all I can remember.


    Only your captures could do justice to this place. You could take wonderful shots with your camera in a place like this. Happy weekend to you too!


    Funny isn't it? I mean your hubby as a polebearer in a jewish wedding. It is ,though, a very nice, friendly deed.
    As to the last part of your comment you're probably referring to events taking place in the amphitheater in ancient times, not nowadays.


    I like it how you get carried away. I can understand it, the place is great for a marriage start.
    Go bless you too!

  14. Thanks for sharing and usually even if a person does not know the history is fills the air and you become aware of previous happens even in silence. Peace

  15. Vera,

    It was indeed a lovely wedding partly due to the setting - a harbour with ancient history.


    Thanks for addressing the young couple and wishing them good things.
    Marriage on the beach is indeed fascinating, as you put it.

    The Bug,

    I would say it's the ultimate place for a wedding due to the mighty sea and the special atmosphere caused by old versus new.

    Lady Di Tn,

    No doubt, history permeats the air at that place, creating a special atmosphere.Peace to you too.

    Champion Chen,

    Thanks for stopping by and for your comment on wisdom.

  16. DUTA:

    Thanks for giving me the details of the menu. Isn't there any place-culture specific food? The ones you have mentioned seem like a mix of different cuisines. What is your traditional wedding food? Am I asking too many questions here?

    Joy always,

  17. So beautiful. The perfect place to begin their life together. You have, once again, brought us beauty and charm while sharing a bit of history. Thank you, Duta.

  18. Susan Deborah,

    Of course there's a traditional jewish wedding meal, but it depends on the ethnical roots of the families. It will also depend on whether the family is orthodox, mildly religious, or non-religious at all.

    First there's the principle of 'kosher' - that is, no pork and shellfish, no mixing of dairy and meat.

    The european jews will choose as the main course chicken, potatoes and vegetables, whereas the middle eastern jews will go for spicy lamb or chicken with rice or couscous.
    You're right about "a mixing of cuisines" at this wedding.
    Thanks for your questions.

    C Hummel Kornell a/k/a Hummel Wilson,

    Perfect place indeed. Thanks for your warm words.

  19. Every wedding has its moments of romance. But a wedding on the seashore is a very special one.

    About the history of Caesarea and many other city like this one, I don't understand why between Roman Empire and Modern Age there is no evidence of of human civilization, like castels, theaters, and hyppodromes. It seems like in 2000 years there was no man living here...

  20. Not only romantic, but also very beautiful. How I would love to be able to visit these old cities. I quite understand what you mean "It's a weird feeling, but it's there, and slightly diverts one's attention..." Old places and places with, as you put it, character, always have that effect on me. Wonderful post, thank you.

  21. What a beautiful place for a wedding! I'd love to visit there someday.

  22. robert,

    Indeed there's romance in every wedding , but a place like Caesarea with its natural and historical attributes , turns romance into something very special .

    As for the other issue in your comment. I would say, there is evidence of human civilization between the Roman Empire and the Modern Age. For example, the Otoman empire. The Turks had ruled here, in Cesarea too and left a lot of evidence.

    a human kind of human,

    Thanks for your kind words. Old places are usually places with character and charm. And when the old is confronted with the new as in Caesarea, then it's a real celebration of the senses.

    Janie B,

    The place is definitely worth a visit; both as
    a touristic and a romantic target.

  23. What a lovely setting in which to begin a marriage. Lovely photos indeed.

  24. How lovely. I always feel as if I've had a history lesson, but told in such a beautiful way, when I visit you.

  25. Duta,

    Thanks so much for being my follower.

    I just spent over an hour reading many of your older posts. You are an incredible writer. Your stories are so very interesting. I've never read a blog quite like yours. I love it very much. I am signing up as follower of yours as well and putting your blog on my blog roll. Thanks for stopping my mine so I could find you.

    My oldest daughter just recently took a two-week trip to Israel with her class from college. I posted some of the pictures from her trip on my art blog. It's just a few posts down from the current one.


  26. Duta, you are really a wonderful travel writer. This sounds very romantic :)

  27. Cheryl,

    You would surely know what a lovely setting is ,as you are used to go to a lot of lovely places.

    Tingjia Xiang Xiang Wen,

    Thanks for stopping by and for the mention of the nice proverb: "People cannot live like animals, but should be in pursuit of knowledge and beauty".

    Sue (Someone's Mom),

    Thanks for your warm words. I'm glad you feel you had an history lesson told in a pleasant way.

    Trudy Callan,

    Welcome! Thanks for taking the time to read my old posts. I'm flattered and glad about this. I'll certainly check out your art blog as well.

    Culture Served Raw,

    Welcome back! Thanks for the compliment. I feel flattered.

  28. What gorgeous wedding pics. I can almost feel that breeze from the sea, Duta!

  29. Dorraine,

    Thanks. Being a writer your senses are more sharp than ours and so even though you're far from that sea, you could feel the breeze coming from it.

  30. What a beautiful site to have a wedding at. It's almost too much for the eyes to bear! Always a great lesson in history when I come to visit you Duta. Congratulations to the new couple!

  31. Alicia,

    Thanks for congratulating the young newly wed couple. The groom is the Only son of my cousin; he's a physicist and the bride a medicine student.


    Thanks for your wishes of happiness and beauty on the night of the stars.

  32. DUTA:

    Thanks for taking the time and patience to answer my questions.

    Joy and peace,

  33. Duta, Thank you!It is so beautiful.
    I love the photos and the story.
    Thank you for taking me along on your journey.

  34. Susan Deborah,

    You're welcome.
    Joy & peace to you too!

    Jennifer D,

    It's good to hear from you.. I'm glad you liked the photos and the story.

  35. I was going to leave a comment on your street art post but there wasn't a link attached. Have a wonderful blogging break Duta & I look forward to hearing all about your fun & adventures away from blogging!

  36. Thanks Lisa from the bottom of my heart, for your kind and warm words.

  37. Terrific! Just terrific: the wedding, the place, your enjoyment of it, your descriptions of it (the food commentary is making me hungry!). I know of some Christians who have used "huppa" during their wedding ceremony -- feeling so very close to our common Jewish heritage, & wanting to celebrate that.


  38. Yes, the huppa on the sunset background was really something.
    Thank you for your beautiful comment.