Departing from Jerusalem, we travel to Herodium, King Herod the Great’s palace complex in the desert. From the base to the summit, we will discover Herod’s life and work and the site of his final monument. This is an opportune time as the archaeological park has been substantially developed – the theater and loggia and majestic staircase and entranceway with frescoes have been renovated. No one guides Herodium like I do, I’ve actually excavated at the site – it’s a passion! I put the life of King Herod, the history of the Second Temple period, just before the time of Jesus in perspective and explain the architecture and archaeology of an incredible site. This is one of my most popular tours.
The tour of Herodium is a half day so it is efficient use of your time and reasonably priced. For those interested in following the Herod the Great theme proceed to the Israel Museum to uncover the artifacts, including the reconstructed sarcophagus on display in the archaeological wing of the museum or other sites in Jerusalem that are associated with King Herod. If you have more time I also guide all the archaeological sites that display King Herod’s architectural genius – Masada, Cypros, Jericho, Hyrcania, Phaesael, Caesarea, Sebaste, Banias and Omrit.
David Laskin hired me to guide him and wrote up our King Herod the Great Tour for the NY Times travel section http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/05/travel/herod-the-greats-israel.html. To arrange your own personalized tour in Herod’s footsteps contact me .
You can read a review of the Israel Museum’s monumental exhibit in 2013 about Herod the Great at Popular Archaeology.
Here is an excerpt from the NYTimes article when they interviewed the Herod the Great Tour guide:
Shmuel Browns, a tour guide and expert on Herodium… “They’ve built things from what was found that you could never imagine from what you saw at the site,” Mr. Browns said. “The message is very, very strong about who Herod is and what he did. He wasn’t intimidated by topography, he wasn’t intimidated by material, he wasn’t intimidated by lack of water.”
“He’s a fascinating character,” Mr. Browns added. “He just got very, very bad press.”