Herodion (Herodium; the Mountain of the Franks), which has the appearance of an extinct volcano, has aroused the curiosity of researchers and tourist since the 5th century. It is situated on an artificial hill on the outskirts of the Judean Desert, 12 km south of Jerusalem and 6 km southeast of Bethlehem. The national park includes the ruins of a number of impressive palaces built by King Herod between 25 and 15 BCE. This impressive building project was meant to commemorate Herod's name and his victory over the last Hasmonean king, Antigonus II (Mattathias), and his men in 40 BCE. According to the famous historian Josephus, King Herod was buried in Herodion, however his grave has not yet been found by archaeologists, despite many excavations. Josephus' description of Herodion matches the archaeological finds at the site:
For then 3000 years since the time of King David, Jerusalem has been set above from other cities. No other place on earth has been so central to man's dreams and aspirations. No other city is described with so much love and devotion, and no other city has been subject to so much killing and bloodshed.
Located only 18.6 miles from the capital Amman, along the 5,000 year old Kings' Highway, is one of the most amazing places in the Holy Land. After driving past several ancient cities, you’ll come upon Madaba, known worldwide as the “City of Mosaics.”