We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Impressive and highly symbolic place”

Herodyon National Park
Reviewed 14 April 2014

Visiting this largely man-made (by King Herod's workers and slaves!) mountain from just before the time of Christ is an impressive - and often unsettling - experience. Unsettling for two reasons: For one thing there is the strong symbolism of a fortress originally built exclusively for a megalomanic semi-Jewish king and friend of the occupying romans celebrating himself and hiding behind walls while a few miles away you can see Bethlehem where one was born in a stone trough who "became a lowly slave to serve and not to rule". The contrast could not be stronger. But the site is also unsettling today with vistas from the top to the settlements around it and also due to the fact that Jewish Israel now celebrates Herod almost as if he was a Davidic king while he was hated by almost all Jews 2000 years ago and the celebrated Zealots smashed his tomb and used the Herodion for rebellious headquarters. Almost ironic - and symbolic for the claims made in the area today.

Thank ChrisJungen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review
Reviews (260)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language

91 - 95 of 260 reviews

Reviewed 2 April 2014

Even though it is quite small an archaeological site, the Herodion makes for a fascinating visit. Said to be the burial site of King Herod (although not all archaeologists agree on this), the fortress turned into artificial mountain by Herod impresses by its majestic height, its ruined palaces, the beautiful view from the top and the network of tunnels that are digged inside, and which can be walked through. A 2013 exhibition on King Herod at the Israel Museum offered very interesting explanations on the meaning of the site; worth checking to see if you can find explanations online.

Worth noting that the site is located at the heart of the Palestinian West Bank, in the area of Bethlehem. It is quite close to Jerusalem - a 20 mn drive - and was said to be visible from the city during Herod's time. Do take your passport with you to cross the military checkpoints when traveling from Israel to the Palestinian territory and back. the visit can be coupled with a tour to Bethlehem and Beit Jala, and with lunch to the lovely Hosh Jasmin restaurant outside Beit Jala.

Thank allega
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 March 2014

We really enjoyed this National Park despite the fact that we had seen many, many ancient sites. Herod was a genius and this park shows part of his genius. By the way, Herod was not a nice guy-- had lots of people killed, including his sons, but he was an amazing engineer, architect and soldier.

Thank lizziloo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 March 2014

This is a more recent find which includes Herod's palace and tomb. It is not crowded and is only a short taxi ride from Bethlehem. Unless you want to hike up to the top to see the ruins, try to hitch a ride up or ask the taxi to take you up there if it is a private taxi, not a service. We took a service and then hitched a ride up and down the hill with other visitors who had cars.

Thank lbook
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 March 2014

This was a very educational experience! Best if you go with a knowledgeable guide or you can miss a lot. Be very careful taking pictures from the top or from the trek up the hill. There is an Israeli army post at the bottom of the hill and they monitor everyone on the mount. If they spot you taking photos they will come and get you. They do not want their post in photos!

Thank Vheckler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Herodyon National Park also viewed

Jerusalem, Jerusalem District
Jerusalem, Jerusalem District
 
Jerusalem, Jerusalem District
Jerusalem, Jerusalem District
 

Been to Herodyon National Park? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing