Herodion National Park, Jerusalem, Israel

At Herodium, King Herod challenged the forces of nature. In the first century BCE, the great builder created one of the most daring & iconic structures of the ancient world.

Herodion, one of Herod the Great’s most ambitious and inspiring building projects, served the Judean King (37 – 4 B.C.E.) as summer palace, fortress, monument, burial ground and district capital.

Of all the sites built by the “builder-king”, Herodion is the only one that bears his name. The immense Herodion complex, fifteen kilometers south of Jerusalem and about five kilometers south-east of Bethlehem, near the ancient roads to the dead Sea, was built between 23 and 20 B.C.E.

It was divided into two sections: Upper Herodion, which contained the palace set within a circular fortress on an artificial cone-shaped mountain; and Lower Herodion, at the base of the mountain, which consisted of numerous palace annexes for use by the king’s family and friends, and for the central offices of the district capital.

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