Werner Braun

Herodium, a man-made mountain in the Judean wilderness. In 23 B.C., Herod the Great built a magnificent palace fortress here on top of a natural hill. Seven stories of living rooms, storage areas, cisterns, a bathhouse, and a courtyard filled with bushes and flowering plants were laboriously constructed, then the whole complex was surrounded and partly buried by a sloping fill of earth and gravel. This massive fill reached a height of 60 feet, providing the palace with a virtually impenetrable defense and creating the unique and dramatic cone shape we still see today.