King Herod - Water, Walls and Tomb
This is an indepth tour of Herodium - most people don't stop to explore the ruins of the lower palace complex outside of the park, a large pool, the Monumental building, the remains of a Byzantine Church but we do. We continue with Herod's palace/fortress, really fit for a king, on the top of a man-made mountain in the Judean desert. We will learn about how water was brought to this isolated spot, how an entire administrative complex with palaces and gardens was built and why Herod chose to be buried there. We will see the remains of a mausoleum on the side of the mountain that was just excavated a few years ago (the site where King Herod would have been buried) and a small theater just discovered where Herod entertained. The tour puts the life of King Herod, the history of the Second Temple period, just before the time of Jesus in perspective and explains the architecture and archaeology of an incredible site.
Meet up at agreed location
1. Drive to Herodium (1/2 hour)
2. Tour of lower palace complex outside the park: pool, Monumental building, Roman bath house, mosaics, remains of Byzantine church (~1 hour)
3. Palace/fortress on mountain top: Triclinium/synagogue, ritual bath, Roman bath with 2000 year old dome (~1 hour)
4. Tomb area, glacis and newly discovered theater (~1/2 hour)
5. Water system, tunnels from Great Revolt (66-70CE) and Bar Kokhba revolt (132-135CE) (~1/2 hour)
6. Drive back to Jerusalem (1/2 hour)
Drop off at agreed location
Meeting Location + Tour Duration
Meeting location: Hotel or location in Jerusalem agreed at booking
End location: Same as pickup
Duration: 5 hours
Time at Herodium is about 4 hours, driving time is an hour.
Transportation to the archaeological park is by car, 2012 Skoda Yeti with air-conditioning or similar. The tour of the site itself is a walking tour of a fascinating archeological site.
Tour is an in-depth tour of the archaeological site at Herodium and transportation by car from Jerusalem to Herodium and back.
Estimated Local Cash Needed
40 NIS (New Israeli Shekel) - per person, entrance fee and drink or ice cream
Entrance fee to national park: 29 NIS adult, 15 NIS child
A Recent Review of this tour
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Shmuel was definitely the best guide for this trip. Very knowledgeable about the history and archaeology of the site, as well as several other topics that only served to enrich the experience. Would definitely recommend this tour and this guide for anyone interested in the rich history of Israel far beyond your usual tourist experience!