Herodium is 3 miles southeast of Bethlehem and 8 miles south of Jerusalem. Its summit is 2,460 feet above sea level. Herod built or re-built eleven fortresses. This one he constructed on the location of his victory over Antigonus in 40 BC. Constructed over a small pre-existing hill, the Herodium was a fortress for Herod to quickly flee to from Jerusalem and a luxurious palace for his enjoyment. Map.
He chose to be buried here and the mountain is the shape of a tumulus. Herod’s tomb was discovered by archaeologist Ehud Netzer in 2007. King Herod built the mountain by first erecting a double-walled cylinder with an outer diameter of 200 feet. There were seven stories in the cylinder including two or three at the top which no longer exist. Afterwards a massive fill of earth and gravel was placed against the cylinder. The four towers are located at the points of the compass.