Israel set to open up parts of Herod’s palace

Private theatre, foyer to be unveiled

Updated - December 10, 2020 09:08 pm IST

Published - December 10, 2020 08:58 pm IST - Herodium (palestinian territories)

An aerial view of the Herodium fortress.

An aerial view of the Herodium fortress.

Israeli authorities are set to unveil previously off-limits structures within King Herod’s palace-fortress Herodium, which the tyrannical Roman-era leader interred as his enormous burial plot.

Herodium, a popular tourism destination, is near Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank but falls in an area where Israel exercises military and civilian control.

Archaeologists say Herod decided towards the end of his life to bury his palace, using ground from below the hill it was perched upon, until the outline of the structure was no longer visible.

Israel’s Nature and Parks Authority plans to open the revamped site on Sunday, allowing visitors to see for the first time Herodium’s arched stairway, foyer and private theatre. The Judean desert complex was built by the Roman-appointed king known both for his brutality and the magnificent structures built during his reign over Judea from 37 to 4 BC.

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