Herod's Northern Palace at Masada

Herod the Great planned three building phases to construct all of the buildings and palaces on Masada (35 BC-15 AD but Herod the Great only reigned till 4 AD). The northern palace was built during the second phase around 25 BC. The North Palace had three levels or terraces, two of them built on the lower cliff faces jutting out from the mountain.

The upper terrace of the Northern Palace included living quarters for the king and guests. In front of the living quarters was a semi-circular portico to provide a view of the area which most likely included a garden. Behind the living quarters there were large storehouses, a synagogue, a large library, and a bath complex.

There was a stairway on the west side that led down to the two lower terraces from the upper terrace.

The round middle terrace was used for a reception hall.

The lower terrace was a square terrace had an open central courtyard, surrounded by porticos. This terrace was used for receptions and parties. The lower parts of the walls were covered in frescos of multicolored geometrical patterns, or were painted to imitate of marble. There was a small private bathhouse on this terrace.

Citations:

"Fortress Masada in Israel, View of the Northern Palace with the Lower Terrace. | Stock Photo | Colourbox." Colourbox. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Mar. 2015.

"Masada." - UNESCO World Heritage Centre. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Mar. 2015.

"Masada And Job Descriptions." N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Mar. 2015.

"MASADA:BIBLE ARCHITECTURE:PALACE FORTRESS,KING HEROD,SUICIDE OF THE ZEALOTS,ROMAN SIEGE RAMP." MASADA:BIBLE ARCHITECTURE:PALACE FORTRESS,KING HEROD,SUICIDE OF THE ZEALOTS,ROMAN SIEGE RAMP. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Mar. 2015.

Rozenberg, Silvia, and Davis Mevorah, eds. Herod the Great: The King's Final Journey. Jerusalem: Keter House, 2013. Print.

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