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The Royal Stoa (Hebrew: הסטיו המלכותי, also known as the Royal Colonnade, Royal Portico, Royal Cloisters, Royal Basilica or Stoa Basileia) was an ancient basilica constructed by Herod the Great during his renovation of the Temple Mount at the end of the 1st century BCE. Probably Herod's most magnificent secular construction, the three-aisled structure was described by Josephus as deserving "to be mentioned better than any other under the sun." A center of public and commercial activity, the Royal Stoa was the likely location of Jesus' Cleansing of the Temple. The Royal Stoa overlooked Jerusalem's residential and commercial quarters, and at its southwestern corner was the place from which a ram's horn was blown to announce the start of holy days.
The Royal Stoa
The Royal Stoa was destroyed by the Roman army during the sack of Jerusalem in 70 CE. Its site on the Temple Mount esplanade is currently inaccessible to archaeologists. However, artifacts from the Stoa have been recovered both from excavations at the foot of the platform and in secondary use in later constructions. This evidence has confirmed details given in the accounts of the historian Josephus, and has also allowed comparison of the Royal Stoa's decoration with that used in other, contemporaneous monumental buildings.
THEATRE in the Upper City.
Herod the Great had also built a THEATRE in the Upper City. It was a large, open-air auditorium with semicircular rows of seats ascending from a central stage. Wealthy Jews came there to watch the best of Greek and Roman drama. Most traditional Jews, however, scorned this and other outgrowths of Greco-Roman culture as immoral.