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Northern Palace Diagram

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Northern Palace Diagram
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View looking east at the northern portion of the western rock face of Masada at the three terraced Northern Palace.  The elevation of the lower terrace is approximately "sea level," while that of the upper terrace is about 100 feet above sea level.  Notice that a staircase descends from the upper to the lower terrace—part of it is still preserved.  The modern walk down from the upper to the lower terrace is 125 steps.

Here are links to pictures of the Upper, the Middle, and the Lower Terraces.

The Northern Palace was the more private of Herod's Palaces at Masada.  It was built hanging over the northern rock scarp of Masada and consists of three terraces.  They were connected by an external staircase.  It is about 100 feet tall.

From the palace's balconies and windows Herod, and his special guests, could enjoy the spectacular landscape of the Dead Sea on the east, the Mountains of Judah to the west, and the oasis of En Gedi to the north.

The fortified palace included sleeping quarters, reception and banquet halls, balconies, a library, and a small private Roman bath!  The palace walls were adorned with frescoes and its floors with mosaics.

It seems to me that Herod may have been imitating some Roman Sea Side villas that hung on rock scarps into the sea—but here, it was suspended high above the desert below!

This diagram is from a sign at the site of Masada.