11 July 2015

Hobnobbing in the Holy Land: Herodium

There were plenty of sights that are worth seeing in Palestine. However, most of these sights are relatively unknown, and one has to read the guidebook or do some other research in order to be aware of the amazing historical and archaeological sites that are waiting for visitors. Hence, I did exactly that, and one of the things that I first saw when I entered Palestine was Herodium, located in the Judean Desert.

This is a cone-shaped hill southeast of Jerusalem, which is significant because of Herod the Great. He built a palace and a fortress here, and he is also believed to have been buried in the site. Nowadays, it is a large archaeological center, with plenty of ruins to explore.

It is a cone-shaped hill, which means there are 360-degree views of the surrounding countryside. The pictures above illustrate this. The place is hot, so one should be prepared and bring adequate protection against the sun, as well as water. There aren't plenty of visitors to this site, since it is in Palestine, but regardless, it is a very interesting experience.

There is an acropolis, which is currently being excavated. This is after all an active archaeological site, and excavations are still taking place revealing the ancient structure. Herod commissioned a palace on top of the hill for all to see, and this is what remains right now. There are pillars, bathhouses, and other ancient things that one can see in the area. I was definitely fascinated by these things.

There is also an underground part of the site. If you feel too hot, then go down the stairs and explore the underground section. It has several sections. You can see water shafts and other installations. Come to think of it, one can see the interesting aspects of ancient Roman architecture in this sight.

Overall, this is a great place to explore for archaeological and historical fans. I definitely recommend this to people visiting Palestine. It is a great ruin, and there aren't crowds at all. Just bring enough water.

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