Machaerus Jordan

Within an hour's drive from Madaba along the King's Way, you find Machaerus, the hilltop stronghold of Herod the Great, King of Judea. His son Herod Antipas inherited the fortress. He ordered here the beheading of John the Baptist after Salome's fateful dance.

The fortress Machaerus was originally built by the Hasmonean king Alexander Jannaeus around 90 BC, destroyed by the Romans and rebuilt by Herod the Great in 30 BC to be used as a military base in his territories east of the Jordan River. His successor was his son Herod Antipas, well known for his role leading to the death of John the Baptist. Antipas decided to divorce and marry the wife of his brother, Herodias. John the Baptist critisized in the public this behaviour, so Herod Antipas imprisoned him at Machaerus. After Herodias' daughter Salome danced before the king she was rewarded with the death of John the Baptist.

In the course of history Jewish rebels took control over the fortress during the First Jewish Revolt, defeated by the Roman army in the 70s the fortress was destroyed, leaving only the foundations intact. The remains are today some ruins of the Herodian palace, including rooms, a large courtyard, and an elaborate bath, with fragments of the mosaic floor. From here you have a panoramic view over the Dead Sea and the surrounding areas. 


Petra Nights Tours
Member of: