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B + 24 : An Encore - Herodium Visit

Yesterday was supposedly my last blog but I have my boarding pass already for the afternoon flight to Switzerland. How am I going to "kill" my morning - am now so used to a busy schedule. Well, Daniel, our guide in Jerusalem, had an idea. Why not visiting the Herodium, which is only 35 min from the King David Hotel away. The Herodium was King Herod's Palace just east of Jerusalem but also his private fortress in case there were troubles in Jerusalem - as an absolute and bloodthirsty Monarch you have to be prepared...

The Roman Protectorate of King Herod around the time of Jesus' birth

The cone like clay hill that Herod turned into a palace in 40 B. It later served the Jewish rebels in 70 AD as a fortress and was levelled to a large extent by the Roman Legions.

A model of the Palace with Herod's Mausoleum in the ticket hall

View from the top towards the Westbank

The bath complex inside the circular palace

View on the ancient synagogue where excavations continue

Bath complex seen from within the palace

Entrance to the cleverly built cisterns below the palace

The large cistern - the waterlines are still visible

The Jewish Freedom Fighters were using the cistern tunnels to get behind the Roman lines

Herod's small private theatre at the foot of his fortress palace

His mausoleum did not survive. He was so hated by his people that it got destroyed soon after his death. Only the foundations remain.

At a short distance and at the foot of his fortress palace, there was a lower palace with large water pools and a temple island. One of Herod's pleasure places - for peaceful times only

Rolling stones the Jewish defenders threw at the Romans .

Now it is time to head back and fly to Switzerland - see you here again in 2019!

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