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He who has not seen the Temple of Herod, has never seen a beautiful building
Babylonian Talmud, Baba Batra, 4a; Shemot Rabba 36:1
The complex took nearly twenty years to complete, using ten thousand workers. Cohanim were specially trained as masons in order to build the Temple itself, as only they were allowed into this section. 2.5-600 ton stones in support walls required advanced engineering, imported marble and gold embellished the facade.
Temple view from Mt.Scopus (to the north-east) 2000 years ago.
Move mouse over picture to see today's view from much the same spot
Titus conquered the city, overcoming the forces led by John of Giscala and Simon Bar Giora. The Temple was burnt and destroyed during the fighting.
It took the Roman army another month to cross the valley dividing the Temple Mount from Jerusalem's upper city (today's Jewish and Armenian Quarters) and destroy the town and people.
Temple from the Upper City
The arrow point is at today's ground level (ie the Western Wall).