Masada is the most visited site of all the archaeological sites in Israel and one of its main tourist attractions. It contains ancient palaces and fortifications located on top of an isolated rock plateau in a stunning desert site overlooking the Dead Sea. And it holds a great historical value, too.
Masada (meaning ‘fortress’ in Hebrew) became known for its attributed mythic significance in the First Jewish-Roman War (also known as the Great Jewish Revolt). In the first century A.D. nearly a thousand Jewish rebels who believed in zero-tolerance toward the Roman rule took over the fortress and were surrounded by the Roman army, which left behind the most complete siege works in the world. When defeat appeared imminent, the rebels chose to commit suicide instead of giving in and spending the rest of their lives as slaves. This made Mesada a symbol of the human spirit’s yearning for freedom.
The Israel Nature and Parks Protection Authority had expertly restored the ruins of Masada, so visitors can almost re-live the last days of this heroic story’s main characters. The latest attraction is the remarkable new museum, with nine dramatically lit rooms displaying some precious finds alongside life-size statues. In the Masada museum, visitors can easily picture the lives and deaths of these Jewish fugitives, who refused to surrender.
Beyond the mythic importance of this site, you will find the Dead Sea and desert mountains views absolutely stupendous. The cliffs on the east edge of this Dead Sea site are about 1,300 feet high and the cliffs on the west are about 300 feet high. The fortress can be reached from two directions today – either from the Dead Sea in the east, via the original and steep “snake path”, or from the west on a path built from the old Roman ramp, offering an easier climb or a cable car.
Masada is a world heritage site and a very popular tourist destination. It is definitely one of your must-see sites while visiting the holy land. Visitors can stay at many of the hotels located at the Dead sea Ein Bokek area, Ein Gedi, and Kalia.