*This post was previously live on my older/erstwhile site TheWingedFork.
While on our way to discover the secrets of the Dead Sea region and the healing properties of the Dead Sea, we stopped for a few hours at Masada. The 2000-year-old fortification once housed King Herod’s palace, with its 3 rock terraces, overlooking the Dead Sea. This Majestic fortress is open all days of the year for visitors.
We took the cable car up to the top, (the easy way), although there were some brave souls that took the infamous snake path up. Nowadays, you also have the Roman Ramp path that can be accessed to the top.
At the top of Majestic Masada
The ruins of this great fortification were at one time the palace of King Herod and later when it was used as the last Jewish strongholds against the Romans in 70 AD.
The history of the fortress is a testament to courage and the love of freedom. The Jews staying here choose to die free rather than be enslaved for the rest of their lives. Archaeologists have also started re-marking the sites of the Roman encampments of 15,000 troops that were around the fortress in 70 AD, when the Romans besieged it.
Excavations at Masada
The fortress and palace was so ingeniously built that even though it is located in the middle of the Desert, on top of a Mountain, the residents had a permanent source fresh water coming through the cisterns.
There is a black marker on the ruins that shows how much was found intact and the parts above that that have been re-built using the same old stones.
Some of the mosaic on the tiles are still perfectly preserved and have a lot of colour as well.
Archaeologists have also excavated what looked to be like a sauna or steam room.
Roaming around at the top of Masada
There was so much to see, and we spent quite a bit of time walking around.
The dead sea in the distance looked lovely.
The road with trees looked like a miniature model of life in a desert. And we could see more of the Roman encampments on the other side.
No matter what time of year it is, Masada is majestic and glorious symbol of courage and freedom. As it is said, Masada will never fall again, Sheynit Masada lo tipul.
Information about Masada National Park:
Masada National Park, Judean Desert, Israel
Phone: +972-08-6584207 / 9170550
Sunday–Thursday and Saturday: 08:00 – 17:00
Friday and holiday eves: 08:00 – 16:00
Sunday–Thursday and Saturday: 08:00 – 16:00
Friday and holiday eves: 08:00 – 15:00
Other holiday eves: 08:00 – 13:00
Yom Kippur eve: 08:00 – 12:00