Masada, also referred to as Metzada, is a mountain-top castle located on the western shore of the Dead Sea in Israel. The castle includes barracks, warehouses, armory, palace, cisterns, etc. Masada is a name derived from a non-inspired word, a Hebrew word meaning “stronghold” or “mountain castle.” It should be noted the fact that Masada is considered one of the greatest symbols of the ancient Kingdom of Israel, its brutal destruction and Jewish rebellion in the first century AD against Rome. Let’s discover some vital facts about Masada:
- Located on the highest isolated rock at the edges of the Dead Sea Valley and the Judean Desert, between Ein Gedi and Sodom.
- Masada has been ignored for centuries and again came into the spotlight after a famous epic entitled Masada, written by the famous Hebrew poet in 1920. The saga aroused hidden emotions and presented a fascinating novel.
- Masada Plateau naturally fortified and surrounded by deep gorges.
- The eastern and western end of Masada was shoveled about 400 m (1300) and 90 m (300) high respectively. Platia’s top is flat and its rhombic shape.
- Around the top of the plateau, there was a casimate wall of 1.3 km in length and a thickness of 3.7 m and containing many towers.
- A Roman-Jewish historian, Herod the Great fortified Masada between 37 and 31 BC to hide himself from the massive rebellion.
- Sikari, a group of Jewish rebels, defeated Romanian troops and defended Masada by controlling them.
- At the end of the first century, the Roman governor of Judea decided to restore Masada.
- The modern world discovered Masada in the mid-19th century BC. In the early 1960s, Israeli archaeologists Yigal Yadin began digging the area. The cable car was added to the area to make it available to tourists. The place is the most popular tourist destination in Israel, outside Jerusalem.
- Being one of the most respected Jewish symbols, Israeli soldiers are sworn in at this site “Masada will not fall again.” The right taken by IDF soldiers is an expression of the commitment to protect the modern state of Israel.
- Since 2001, Masada has been counted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- On the west side of the mountain, an audio-visual presentation is performed showing Masada’s history at night. While, during winter there is no sound and light show.
- Two of Mikvahs and Synagogue are among the most exciting sites to be seen in Masada to date.
- Summer is usually hot, so visitors are not allowed to mountain trips during the day. However, it is advisable to take trips in the early hours of the morning. Water bottles and a hat are two things to carry together during trips.
- Since 2007, a museum for tourists has been opened to display the detailed history of Masada along with some interesting artifacts.
- Masada is one of the most popular sites for Dead Sea tourists.
Masada is a site of fortifications and palaces located in Israel, near the Dead Sea. It was considered a stronghold of the past, held by Jewish fanatics. They refused to surrender to the Roman Empire and preferred death to surrender. Now, Masada has become known as tourist destinations visited by tourists from all over the world.