Herod's Palace in Jerusalem

Built in the last quarter of the 1st century BC by Herod the Great, the Palace (depicted here by a model) was the second most important building in Jerusalem, after the Temple itself, according to the Jewish Magazine. Nothing remains of the Palace today except for portions of the surrounding wall-and-tower complex, much altered and generally known as "the Citadel."

The praetorium at the Palace was, after Herod's death, the official residence of the Roman governors when they visited Jerusalem. This was probably the site of the trial of Jesus of Nazareth by Pontius Pilate.

Herod's Temple

The first Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed in 586 BC. When Jewish exile groups returned from Babylon they began rebuilding it -- at first a modest structure. However, according to Wikipedia, during the reign of Herod the Great, the Second Temple was completely refurbished, and the original structure was totally overhauled into "large and magnificent edifices." Herod began his work with a massive expansion of the Temple Mount.

Unfortunately, the temple would be destroyed by the Romans in AD 70. All that remains today is the Western Wall, which is venerated by Jews from all over the world.


The Antonia Fortress

Herod named this fortress, on the north side of the Temple in Jerusalem, in honor of his patron, Mark Antony. It had four corner towers and broad spaces for troop quarters. Though rebuilt and perhaps enlarged by Herod, this citadel had existed much earlier, according to the Jewish Encyclopedia. It is depicted here by a model, but portions of the Antonio Fortress may still be seen beneath convents on the Via Dolorosa.


The Royal Stoa

The Royal Stoa, also known as the Royal Portico, was an ancient basilica constructed by Herod the Great during his renovation of the Temple Mount at the end of the 1st century BC. Shown here is a model of it. A center of public and commercial activity, the Stoa was the likely location of Jesus' Cleansing of the Temple, according to Wikipedia. It was the place from which a ram's horn was blown to announce the start of holy days.

The Pool of Siloam

The Pool of Siloam was a rock-cut pool on the southern slope of the City of David, the original site of Jerusalem, located outside the walls of the Old City to the southeast. The pool was fed by the waters of the Gihon Spring, carried there by two aqueducts. In the 5th century, a pool was constructed at the end of the Siloam Tunnel and survives to the present day (pictured). Until the discovery of the Second Temple pool of Siloam, this pool was wrongly thought to be the pool described in the New Testament.

Jerusalem Pilgrimage Road

The Jerusalem pilgrim road is an ancient road used by ritual processions ascending from the Pool of Siloam to the Temple Mount, Judaism's holiest site, via the Hulda Gates in the Southern Wall.

The Herodium

Herod's Palace is an archaeological site within the fortress of Herodium, about 12 kilometers south of Jerusalem. Herod the Great commissioned a lavish palace to be built between 23 and 15 BC atop Herodium for all to see. The palace itself consisted of four towers of seven stories, a bathhouse, courtyards, a Roman theater, banquet rooms, a large walkway, and extravagant living quarters for himself and guests. Once Herod died and the Great Revolt started, Herodium was abandoned. The Jews eventually had a base at Herodium where they built a synagogue, which can still be seen today, unlike much of Herod’s Palace.


Masada is an ancient fortification in the Negev Desert, situated on top of an isolated rock plateau. Herod the Great built two palaces for himself on the mountain and fortified Masada between 37 and 31 BC.


Machaerus is a fortified hilltop palace located in Jordan 16 miles southeast of the mouth of the Jordan River on the eastern side of the Dead Sea. According to Josephus, it is the location of the imprisonment and execution of St. John the Baptist. Originally built by the Hasmonean king Alexander Jannaeus in about the year 90 BC, it was destroyed by Pompey's general Gabiniusin in 57 BC but later rebuilt by Herod in 30 BC to be used as a military base to safeguard his territories east of the Jordan.


Antipatris was a city built during the first century BC by Herod the Great, who named it in honor of his father, Antipater. Antipatris lies at the strong perennial springs of the Yarkon River, which throughout history has created an obstacle between the hill country to the east and the Mediterranean to the west, forcing travelers and armies to pass through the narrow pass between the springs and the foothills of Samaria.

Cave of the Patriarchs

The Cave of the Patriarchs or Tomb of the Patriarchs is a series of caves located in the heart of the old city of Hebron in the southern West Bank. According to the Abrahamic religions, the cave and adjoining field were purchased by Abraham as a burial plot. Over the cave stands a large rectangular enclosure dating from the Herodian era. The site is considered by Jews to be the second holiest place in the world, after the Temple Mount.


Samaria was the capital of the northern Kingdom of Israel in the 9th and 8th centuries BC. The ruins of the city are located in the Samaria mountains of the West Bank, almost 10 km to the northwest of Nablus. In 30 BC the emperor Augustus awarded the city to Herod the Great, who renamed it Sebaste in honor of Augustus. Remains from this period include the Augusteum, consisting of a temple and a large forecourt built over the Omride palace at the summit of the acropolis; a city gate and an east-west colonnaded street; a theater on the northeast slope of the acropolis; a Temple to Kore on a terrace north of the acropolis, and a stadium to the northeast in the valley below.