Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Mountain Out of a Mole Hill, Herodian


This Passover, we went south.  We joined my cousin and her husband for a road trip to Herodian and Gush Etzion.  Three years ago I toured Herodian with my Matan touring course and remember learning that the reason Herodian stands out so clearly in view is that Herod's massive palace was built on a man-made mountain.



From Herodian you can see Jerusalem and lots of nearby yishuvim in the distance.  It's hard to imagine how many thousands of workers and how long it must have taken to build it all.  And think of the complex technical, engineering planning.  It was all done in the head, no computers and no easy way to carry around and distribute the instructions and plans.


Like at Tel Shiloh, Shiloh HaKeduma-Ancient Shiloh, there was a Biblically inspired play, with clever references to ancient history, trivia and current affairs.


They were also set-up for crafts, though nobody was participating when we were there.


We were in Herodian in the morning, and I'm sure it was more crowded in the afternoon.  Actually, if we had arrived any later, we would have had to have parked far from the entrance, and there's no shuttle.  You have to walk a lot at Herodian, which is neither shady nor green.  I'm used to the park-like Tel Shiloh.



We found it interesting, but there isn't much to do at Herodian.  It's easier to make a day of it at Shiloh HaKeduma, Tel Shiloh.  At Tel Shiloh there's a coffee shop-craft store, and during the holidays many more activities are available.  Also the WC's and picnic facilities are within the tourist area.

7 comments:

Yocheved Golani said...

When I left Herodian, after clambering tunnels to the ground, I turned around and said, "Herodian we have defeated you. Am Yisrael chai!"

Batya said...

good reaction!
He just left physical buildings and we are a thriving nation/people

Mrs. S. said...

Which day were you there? We went yesterday (Wednesday) and had a great time. I hope to post about it when I have a chance...

Chag samei'ach!

Batya said...

Mrs. S. We were there MOnday. Of course our/my review is based on the fact that we're in "advanced middle-age." The "senior" discount for the ladies was a treat.

Ariella said...

Herod did get credit, though, for beautifying the Beis Hamikdash.I"t was said: He who has not seen the Temple of Hurdus has never seen a beautiful building." from Bava Basra

Batya said...

true, good point

jewaicious said...

The photos are lovely and wonderful reminders of where we came from and how far we have traveled.

It's ironic, I just finished reading The Dovekeepers, by Alice Hoffman, based on Masada and four strong women within the palace walls.