The Western Palace on Masada provided Herod the Great with protection and luxury. But why stop there when ostentatious is better? So, the Roman client king of Judea commissioned the Northern Palace in 25 BC. This magnificent, three-tier edifice was etched into the face of the northern cliff. The top structure housed his lavish living quarters with a private balcony. The middle level (foreground) consisted of two concentric walls. These created a roof-covered portico and central courtyard designed as an impressive reception hall. The lowest level (square section) was reserved for entertaining guests, banquets and special events. The terrace was embellished with ornate frescos, tile flooring, fluted columns and a bathhouse. Remnants of these decorations are still visible.