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Herodyon National Park
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
111 reviews
64 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
Reviewed February 28, 2013

A short drive south of Jerusalem lies a man-made mountain called Herodium. King Herod decided to construct his tomb at Herodium because the site played a role in two important events in his life.
The ruins of this fortress and lower palace are quite intact. Herod's tomb is located in the side of the mountain and is not accessible. There is quite a climb up the side of the mountain, but well worth it. There is a small visitors center with gift shop and be sure to watch the movie before visiting the site. Wear good hiking shoes and do not attempt if you are afraid of heights It is always good to know the history of the site before visiting, so I have included a short synopsis.

In the year 43 BCE, when Herod was still governor of the Galilee, he was forced to flee Jerusalem along with his family after his enemies laid siege to the city.

His mother's chariot flipped over near Herodium, and Herod became hysterical until he realized she was only lightly wounded. A short while later, the Parthians caught up to Herod and his entourage, although Herod and his men emerged victorious in the ensuing battle.

At Herodium, Herod built one of the largest complexes in the Roman Empire, which served as a residential palace, a sanctuary, an administrative center and a mausoleum. Herod first built an artificial cone-shaped hill that could be seen from Jerusalem, on which he constructed a fortified palace surrounded by watchtowers that he used solely in wartime.

At the base of the hill, he built an additional palace, which was the size of a small town and known as "Lower Herodium." The palace included many buildings, fancy gardens, pools, stables, and storage areas.

Visited February 2013
6 Thank slmueser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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242 reviews from our community

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Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
21 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Just as good as Masada!”
Reviewed February 2, 2013

This is a fantastic archaelogical site that is not as visited as Masada, but just as interesting. It is closer to Jerusalem than Masada, so it is easier to reach, although be aware that it is in the "West Bank". It was also one of King Herod's many palaces/fortresses that he built during his reign in case he needed to escape the Roman's or just as likely, his own subjects! The Jews rebelling against Roman rule also uses this site to fight the Romans, although Josephus unfortunately does not tell us the story here as he did at Masada. The archaeologist Ehud Netzer spent years searching for Herod's tomb at this site and has probably finally found it! There will be an exhibition of his finds next month at the Israel Museum. I am just sorry that I won't be there to see it.

Visited January 2013
1 Thank Robert F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seneca, South Carolina
Level Contributor
147 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“What a view.”
Reviewed January 28, 2013

Quite a few steps but worth the climb. Good signage at top plus a scale model of the fortress/palace.

Visited January 2013
1 Thank captmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leawood, Kansas
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Fascinating and well worth the climb.”
Reviewed January 24, 2013

Our tour guide took us here as a "bonus" since it was not on our agenda. Wow - I'm so glad we got to see these incredible archeological remains. Herod was a genius and spent a great deal of money on his palaces. The underground tunnels were fascinating and our tour guide knew all about the culture and history of the place. It was truly amazing. The swimming pool area was something to behold along with the theater and bath house. It would not have been as meaningful without an informed tour guide. There is a hefty climb up the mountain but we all made it and our oldest member was 77 and had her arm in a sling.

Visited January 2013
2 Thank Drucie P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“One man's brilliance/paranoia”
Reviewed January 23, 2013 via mobile

It is amazing to see the excavations, how much manpower was needed to put Herod's plan in action. Had a great tour guide who really understood the site and could bring it to life for us. Well worth the time to see it. Correlates well with Masada and the kotel tunnel tours.

1 Thank chankie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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