Apollonia is a archaeological site and national park with remains of a crusader city and fortress, on the shore of Mediterranean sea.
Apollonia is located near the modern city of Herzelia and it includes a natural reserve and a beautiful fortress in the central area of the park.
The fortress was built on a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean coast in 1191 by crusaders to defend against islamics invasor.
The King Balduin I and his crusaders establish their reign in the Holy Land on this place, after win a decisive battle and ruled the country for about 100 years.
Today, Apolonia is a so beautiful natural reverse and a romantic destination for many couples come to see the amazing sunset from their cliffs.
The Apolonia National Park is ready to families makes the traditional picnic and feel the briza from the Mediterranean sea.
The first civilisation in this area was a small town settled by Phoenicians in the 6th or 5th century BC and was named Reshef after Resheph, the Canaanite god of fertility and underworld. Arsuf also was part of the Persian Empire and was governed from Sidon. Phoenicians of Reshef(Apollonia) produced precious purple dye, derived from murex mollusks, which they exported to the Aegean sea region.
During the Hellenistic period Resheph was an important anchorage port, it was ruled by Greek Seleucids and was renamed to Apollonia, as the Greeks identified the Phoenician God Reshef with Apollo.
In the Roman period the town area and population increased. It was an important village between Jaffa and Caesarea Maritima along of ancient Via Maris, the most important roman road in the Mediterranean coast.
In 113 AD the city was destroyed partially by an earthquake, but restored quickly. The crusaders built the harbour and export species and other products to Italy and North Africa.
In the Byzantine period the city cover an area of 280,000 m2. Between the 5th and 6th century AD Apollonia was the second largest city in the Plain of Sharon, after Caesarea, Christian and Samaritans inhabited the village.