Masada

Masada Travel Blog

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Masada

Masada is the name for a site of ancient palaces and fortifications in the South District of Israel. It is on top of an isolated rock plateau on the eastern edge of the Judean Desert overlooking the Dead Sea. After the First Jewish-Roman War a siege of the fortress by troops of the Roman Empire led to the mass suicide of the rebels, who preferred death to surrender.

Herodus the Great fortified Masada as a refuge for himself in the event of a revolt. In 66, at the beginning of the First Jewish-Roman War against the Roman Empire, a group of Jewish extremists called the Sicarii overcame the Roman garrison of Masada. After the destruction of the Second Temple, the Jewish rebels and their families fled Jerusalem and settled on the mountain top, using it as a base for harassing the Romans.

Me in Masada
In 72, the Roman governor of Iudaea marched against Masada and laid siege to the fortress. After failed attempts to breach the wall, they built a circumvallation wall and then a rampart against the western face of the plateau, using thousands of tons of stones and beaten earth. This wall can still been seen. The rampart was complete in 73 allowing the Romans to finally breach the wall of the fortress with a battering ram on 16 April 73. When they entered the fortress, however, the Romans discovered that its 960 inhabitants had set all the buildings but the food storerooms ablaze and committed mass suicide rather than face certain capture, defeat, slavery or execution by their enemies. Only 2 women and 3 children survived. After that Masada was abandoned.

The site of Masada was identified in 1842 and extensively excavated. Now it is a must see while visiting Israel.

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Masada
Masada
Me in Masada
Me in Masada
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Cable Car to Masada
Cable Car to Masada
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Deer near Masada
Deer near Masada
Camels near Masada
Camels near Masada
Masada
photo by: Mortyzia