The Herodion National Park - King Herod's Tomb & Castle

The Herodion National Park - King Herod's Tomb & Castle

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based on 3218 traveler reviews
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NOTE: Last entry is 1 hour before closing time

Historian Josephus writes that King Herod the Great built a magnificent palace at a spot located about 12 kilometers south of Jerusalem in order to commemorate his military victory over the Parthians. Herod "built a town on that spot in commemoration of his victory, and enhanced it with wonderful palaces... and he called it Herodion after himself," the Jewish-Roman historian writes in The Wars of the Jews.

He goes on to note the strength of the fortress, located alongside a hill with a distinct conical (he calls it breast-like) shape, which Herod greatly expanded and filled with lush gardens, elaborate apartments, and of course, heavily fortified ramparts. And indeed, even today, 2,000 years after Herod's time, Herodion is a wonder to behold. Although the site was conquered and destroyed by the invading Roman army in 70 CE, the ruins are still very well-preserved and include the various halls of the fortress, ritual baths, water cisterns, and the remains of a first-century synagogue built in the Galilean style.

The Herodion is located east of Bethlehem, near the Jewish settlements of Tekoa and Nokdim, and is a major landmark visible for miles around. In 2007, archaeologist Ehud Netzer claimed that he had discovered the tomb of King Herod midway up the hill on the northern slope of Herodion, at a spot that directly corresponds with a description of the King's burial place in Josephus. Netzer died in October 2010, several days after sustaining a bad fall when a railing gave way at the site, which he had been excavating for more than 40 years.

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based on 3218 traveler reviews
  • Jason Bennett
    Jason Bennett
    August 3, 2023

    I’ve visited a couple dozen of the national parks while in country. This one was one of my favorite. The videos in conjunction with the ruins really gave perspective on Herods rule and conquests.

  • Aloysius Mak
    Aloysius Mak
    June 10, 2023

    This is a wonderful place , it can see the whole view of Jerusalem, and also all the Heritage view are protected very well. Its worth to go.

  • Irina Holban
    Irina Holban
    July 24, 2023

    A great building project of Herod the Great! Just 4 stars bcs on the bottom, where the synagogue and fountain is- a lot of garbage and bedouins destroying the situ with their sheep

  • Helen ICE
    Helen ICE
    February 26, 2023

    A powerful scene of the place. I was not aware of this place before I came to visit Israel and was surprised by its grand design and construction. Will learn something more about Harold and the history in his time.

  • i pm
    i pm
    January 21, 2023

    Would deserve more than 5 stars. A true architectural wonder. Could easily spend days here exploring the tunnel system, the beautifully saved palace remains, and last but not least the sweeping view. Let me note that Hero...

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