Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

It’s not Petra. It’s the Tomb of the Kings, located in Jerusalem’s Shimon Hatzadik (Sheikh Jarrah) neighborhood.

The tombs are believed to be the burial site of Queen Helene of Adiabene.


Queen Helena of Adiabene came to Jerusalem from Kurdistan, northern Iraq. Her family converted to Judaism and built a palace in the City of David at the end of the Second Temple Period. Helena’s son Monobaz II had her remains and those of his brother buried “three stadia from Jerusalem.”

The family member are mentioned a number of times in the Talmud.

The tombs were opened to the public this year. Access is controlled by the French Consulate and the sarcophagus of Queen Helena of Adiabene, presently housed at the Louvre Museum.

The Association Hekdesh du Tombeau des Rois claims ownership of the site, claiming it was purchased by Berthe Amélie Bertrand in 1878.


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