Masada – Dead Sea

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Masada is a natural fortress that was constructed on the top of a barren mountainous desert plateau which is about thousands of feet above the Dead Sea. It was built by Herod the Great, the King of Judea from 37 to 4 B.C. originally as a castle complex in the last century B.C. Masada is a popular ancient stone fortress in Israel and can be found high above the Dead Sea on a tall and rocky mesa. The fortress is now a national park in Israel and it is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Masada covers 840-acre of land and it is filled with well-preserved ruins which tells the history of the ancient Kingdom of Israel and it is a great place to go for history lovers.

Where Is Masada?

Masada can be found on the edge of the Judean desert between Sodom and Ein Gedi on cliffs that consist of dolomite, chalk, and marl strata which is about 400m above the Dead Sea. The area has a desert climate which makes the surrounding area virtually uninhabited and undeveloped.

Masada – Dead Sea
Masada – Dead Sea

History of Masada

The fortress оf Masada wаѕ constructed іn thе уеаr 30 BC by Kіng Hеrоd, whо hаѕ lеft his mark throughout thе соuntrу with hіѕ аrсhіtесturаl feats. Durіng thе bеgіnnіng оf thе grеаt rеvоlt аgаіnѕt Rome іn thе уеаr 68 CE, іt was then соnԛuеrеd bу a grоuр of Jewish zealots аnd it then went оn tо be thеіr lаѕt stronghold.  The Romans attacked Masada in the year 72 CE and they succeed to get to the steep fortress after they build a huge earthen ramp on its western side. Some of the Jewish zealots about 960 that lives at the top of Masada then opt to commit suicide than to be taken captive by the Romans in the year 73. Their deeds then left a saga of heroism, courage, and martyrdom after death.

Masada is now in ruins and the remains of the fortress are well-preserved and there is a reconstruction effort to pay homage to the site and the heroic inhabitants. The highlight of the Masada is the King Herod’s northern palace which was constructed on three rock terraces which overlook the gorge below. You are going to find a large Roman-style bathhouse with lovely mosaic floor and walls that are decorated with murals close to the palace. Some of the other buildings at Masada that you can explore are a luxurious western palace, watchtowers, the mikveh, storerooms, and a synagogue that relates the history of Masada where you can learn about the history of Masada as you will find artifacts like decorated pottery, storage containers, coins, and scrolls.

Some of the magnificent embossments and murals that were found on the walls of the buildings here were restored by Italian experts to preserve them for years to come. The Masada is considered to be the largest and most complete Roman siege camp that is still functioning today.