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Herodion, Bethlehem

"And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord Appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him" (Matthew, 11 13).

6 km south east of Bethlehem, in the wild and setting of this part of Judea, rises the rough, conical hill dominated by the Herodion (Herod's Fortress), a fortified palace standing 300 feet (92 m) above its surrounding, built by Herod the Great in memory of his victory after defeating Antigonus in 39 BC. Which is; with its powerful remains; considered one of the most grandiose architectural projects realized by Herod.

Ancient Ruins of Herodion

From the top of the hill a desolate but impressive panorama can be enjoyed, sweeping across the Desert of Judea to the Dead Sea and including Bethlehem and Jerusalem. The palace became one of Herod's impregnable refuges, a true eagle's eyre.

The remains of walls and fortified towers, the fragments of mosaic, the great water cisterns, the buildings meant for baths and banqueting, are proofs of the magnificence of the original construction, which legend still holds to be the burial place of Herod.
 

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