Masada is a natural fortress 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 that tell the history of the ancient Kingdom of Israel, and it is a great place to go for history lovers.
Where Is Masada?
Masada is on the edge of the Judean desert between Sodom and the Sead Sea 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.
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 in getting to the steep fortress after building 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 Masada’s highlight is King Herod’s northern palace, constructed on three rock terraces that overlook the gorge below. You will find a large Roman-style bathhouse with a lovely mosaic floor and walls 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.
Italian experts restored some of the magnificent embossments and murals found on the buildings’ walls to preserve them for years to come. The Masada is considered the largest and most complete Roman siege camp that is still functioning today.
- Kayaking in the Dead Sea –
- Beaches and shopping center of the Dead Sea – a half-hour drive
- Ein Gedi Reserve – Spectacular oasis, a must-visit!
- Einot Tzukim Reserve – Freshwater springs
- Graffiti Gallery – 430 – Kalya Beach – Abandoned buildings graffiti-covered buildings