One of most ultra-ambitious ancient sites in the world

By Lydia Aisenberg

TOWERING above a large swathe of the semi-arid Judean desert, surrounded by sprawling Palestinian villages with the outskirts of Jerusalem clearly visible in the near distance, the majestic Herodium sits 758 metres (2,487 feet) above sea level.

It is one of the most unique and impressive building complexes constructed during the first century BCE by Herod, the vassal king appointed by the Romans in 40 BCE to rule over Judea on their behalf.

Although living in Israel for more than 50 years, I visited the Israel Nature and Parks Authority’s Herodium Park complex for the first time only recently; previous planned visits having been disappointedly thwarted on numerous occasions because of security concerns in that particular area then.

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