Duby Tal, Moni Haramati/Albatross Photos

Caesarea from the air. King Herod (c. 73–4 B.C.E.), Caesarea’s builder, delighted in challenging nature when erecting his numerous building projects. This view, facing north, shows the sites of two of his grandest and most audacious achievements. Near the top lies Caesarea’s harbor, one of the largest harbors of the ancient world, bounded on its southern side by a finger-like breakwater extending into the sea.

South of the harbor and opposite Caesarea’s Roman theater, a sandstone landmass also juts out to sea. On this dramatic spot Herod constructed his magnificent Promontory Palace, which featured a dining room facing a large pool.