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Herodian architecture: Wikis


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The Enclosure of the Cave of the Patriarchs, Hebron. This large rectangular enclosure around the famous caves is the only Herodian structure to survive fully intact.

Herodian architecture is a style of classical architecture characteristic of the numerous building projects undertaken during the reign (37 BC - 4 BC) of Herod the Great, the Roman client king of Judea. Herod undertook many colossal building projects, most famously his reconstruction of the Temple in Jerusalem (ca. 19 BC).



Herod introduced numerous architectural innovations and construction techniques in his buildings, such as the domes inside the Double Gate to the Temple Mount. He adapted the mikveh — a Jewish ritual bath — for use as the frigidarium in the Roman-style bathhouses in his many palaces. Herod also developed an innovative combination of palace and fortress; examples include the Antonia Fortress in Jerusalem and the Herodium in the Judean Desert about 2 miles south of Bethlehem. Characteristically, they have (or had) one tower higher and stronger than the others. Herod’s fortification innovations strongly influenced the military architecture of subsequent generations.

Herod avoided the representation of human and animal figures even in the closed and private parts of his palaces.

Herod's Temple

In the eighteenth year of his reign (20–19 BC), Herod rebuilt the Second Temple in Jerusalem on "a more magnificent scale".[1] The new Temple was finished in a year and a half, although work on out-buildings and courts continued another eighty years. To comply with religious law, Herod employed a thousand priests as masons and carpenters for the rebuilding. The finished temple, which was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD, is often referred to as Herod's Temple. The Wailing Wall (Western Wall) in Jerusalem was for many years the only section now visible of the four retaining walls built by Herod to create a flat platform (the Temple Mount) upon which the Temple was constructed.

Major Herodian building projects

Model of Herod's Temple (renovation of the Second Temple) in the Israel Museum.

See also


  1. ^ Temple of Herod, Jewish Encyclopedia

See also:



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