Caesarea Caesarea The ruins of the former Roman city Caesarea are captured in dramatic new drone footage of the sweeping 125-acre national park. (Photo: Jesse Peters)

New drone video films amazing ancient palace on Mediterranean beach

Caesarea, a former jewel of the Roman Empire, is also home to one of the world's greatest engineering feats.

There are many ancient footprints to visit in this modern world, but only a select few can double as a postcard for a day at the beach.

Caesarea, a town in Israel located along the Mediterranean, is home to the ruins of an ancient port city of the same name that at one point was considered one of the wonders of the Roman Empire. Now a national park, the site spans more than 125 acres and includes a Roman amphitheater, a hippodrome (where 20,000 people once watched chariot races), a massive aqueduct, palace ruins and much more, all set against the sand and beauty of the Mediterranean.

At its height some 2,000 years ago, Caesarea also was the site of one of the ancient world's greatest engineering feats. As drone pilot Jesse Peters shows in this stunning new video, the seaside city does not appear to have a natural harbor. To overcome this issue, the Romans constructed a massive artificial harbor in less than 12 years that spans more than 40 acres. This technological marvel of its time was likely the first harbor ever constructed entirely in the open sea.

Today, Caesarea's harbor is underwater, but don't let that stop you from visiting. In 2006, Israel created the world's first underwater museum that allows divers the opportunity to float from one sunken underwater ruin to the next. Sites to explore include a Roman shipwreck, the port’s original foundations, anchors, pedestals and the remains of the site's original lighthouse.

Not into diving or embracing your inner Indiana Jones and exploring the nearby ruins? Caesarea is one of nearly 50 national parks found throughout Israel, with everything from unique geology ideal for mountain biking to lush forests best tackled on foot. Looking for a place to start? Check out some of the country's best day hikes as a warm-up for your next visit.

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