Couple of Information about Herodium – Did you know that ?
- Herodium is was fortress built by Herod the Great in memory of his victory over Antigonus in 42 B.C.
- It is located in the Judean desert, 6 km to the south east of Bethlehem.
- The hill of Herodium is partly artificial – the hill was built up
- King Herod died at his winter palace in Jericho, however according to his wish, he was buried at Herodium.
The excavations uncovered remains of a fortress: a double circular wall with four towers and gateway from the north-east. Inside the walls were store rooms and water reservoirs. Remains of a hall with pillars an a bath house were found within the fortress.
Herodium from Bethlehem on a budget:
To get from Bethlehem to Herodium on a budget, you could take a shared taxi (orange service van) to Tequ’a village, which is located just next to Herodium. The one way costs 5 NIS per person. However, you would need to walk a bit to reach the fortress, you could also ask the driver to take you a bit closer and pay some tip.
The shared taxis to Tequ’a village are waiting on the Wad Em’ali junction, very close to the Nativity Church and the Manger Square. When you face the entrance of the church of the Nativity from the Square, take your right and continue down. You are going to pass a private parking, continue down, do not take the Anatreh street, but continue to the Wad Em’ali junction and old Bethlehem’s spring – take your right. You are going to see a parking with the orange shared taxis waiting there.
If you think think that the budget experience is too complicated, ask a regular taxi driver to take you there, however remember that an hour with a regular taxi is 60-70 NIS.
**To enter Herodium a person need to pay around 25 NIS.
More about Tequ’a:
Tequ’a was an ancient Canaanite village. It is marked on the Madaba Map, and is known through the crusader’s sources. It has been as well the birthplace of the prophet Amos, who, according to the tradition is also buried there. In the past, it was a home of many Christian families, who later moved to Bethlehem. Today Tequ’a is a Palestinian Muslim village.
No time to visit Herodium?
That’s a pity, but … you can see it from Bethlehem! The fortress is so close to Bethlehem that it really visible from here. There are couple of good observation points to see the ruins of fortress. You could walk along the Manger Street and look all the time to the right, suddenly you are going to reach a spot where is not many buildings along the street and the nice panorama on the Nativity Church and the Bethlehem’s Old Town will open … and look there is the truncated volcano like hill in the background – that’s Herodium!
Visitor Information Center wishes you a great time in Bethlehem! Visit our office if you are looking for a free map or useful information regarding your travel.