Masada Travel Blog› entry 16 of 16 › view all entries
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.
The site of Masada was identified in 1842 and extensively excavated. Now it is a must see while visiting Israel.