On the Israel shore of the famous Jordan River there is a hill called Herodion. It is located about 11 kilometers from the city of Bethlehem and 15 kilometers from Jerusalem. It is also located next to the ancient roads that lead to the Dead Sea.
Hill is truly considered an outstanding property of nature, literally and figuratively speaking. This place is at an altitude of 100 meters in relation to other areas. This hill has a shape similar to a volcano with a smoothed top. Such appearance was acquired after King Herod built a palace with fortifications on the peak of the hill. By the way, this palace remained the only building that still bears his name.
The excavation area, which is located on a hill, is now considered a national park, and therefore strictly protected. Tourist tickets are sold in a special stall with a poster that perpetuates the memory of one of the guardians of Herodium, who was killed in 1988 by Palestinians.
King Herod wanted the fortress to be converted into a mausoleum, where his body would rest. Since the excavations in these places are constantly being carried out, in 1962 it was discovered that Herod really dug up a peak near the hill. It happened in the distant 20’s of BC. This conclusion was made on the basis of a well-preserved foundation, which used to be surrounded by powerful walls.
A magnificent palace was built inside these walls, but the grave of Herod could not be found. There is an opinion that it was destroyed yet during the very beginning of the Israel wars. At that time these lands were in the hands of the zealots, and they arranged their headquarters here. In general, Herod settled here after he fled from Jerusalem, and Herodion consisted of the upper and lower parts. At the top there was a palace, and from below there were hulls for members of the king’s families. Herod was proud of what he had created, but he was not here often.
When Archelaus was overthrown, the fortress became the possessions first of the Romans, then of the Jews. The Jews built a synagogue and a special pool for ablutions in these places, but they stayed here only four years, as the fortress once again belonged to the Romans. Then Herodion was abandoned until the uprising of Bar Kokhba, the uprising was suppressed, and the territory again came to desolation.
Yet later, Herodion was occupied by Byzantine monks, who erected here three churches, but in the VII century, when the Persian and Arab raids were committed, this territory was emptied, and the castle itself turned into ruins. Today numerous excursions are organized for those tourists who wish to see this hill and the ruins of the castle.
When traveling to Israel, you should come to this place to personally see such a monument of nature, as well as to see the views opening from the top of the hill.