Masada .This ancient fortress is located just 3 kilometers from the southern end of the Dead Sea, at the edge of the Judean Desert, in Israel.
The ancient fortress Masada is located near the city of Arad. It stands on a rock in the middle of the desert, at an altitude of 450 m above sea level, on a flat plateau approximately 300 x 600 m in size.The first historical building in this secluded place was a fortified shelter built by King Herod I in 25 BC. e. But not the first creation of human hands: about 10 years earlier, an ancient fortress had already been built here.
Inside the walls were the royal palaces, storehouses and warehouses, water tanks and other outbuildings, as well as a synagogue. Today, from all these structures, you can see Herod’s palace, the baths, several other ruins and a synagogue.
Masada is so rich in history that Israel is developing it as an official national park, and in 2001, UNESCO declared Masada a World Heritage Site.
Access : Coordinates: 31.315556, 35.353889 / By bus : The bus routes that run from Jerusalem in the north along the Dead Sea to the south also stop in Masada. There are also individual connections to Arad and Beersheba (Beersheba)./ By car :
Coming from Arad, the 3199 road leads to Masada ,a total of approx. 20 km from Arad – It should be noted that there is no direct connection road for cars between the east and west sides of the mountain. So if you want to use the cable car, for example, you have to arrive via road 90, you have to cover a distance of almost 70 kilometers from one side of the mountain to the other!
- The Masada plateau resembles a diamond that measures around 600m from north to south and around 300m from west to east. On three sides it rises about 400 m above the valley floor, in the west a narrow connection to a neighboring mountain is a little less deep. Masada was just one of the Hasmonean refuge forts, relatively simple but well fortified. The surrounding wall is still quite well preserved, it has a wall thickness of a good half a meter on the outside. Access was only available at the Serpent Path Gate on the east side and at the west gate on the ramp path and at the water gate in the northwest.
- Roman siege : The Romans built a siege wall and several army camps around the mountain of Masada, the outlines of which can still be seen from above in the desert floor. The ramped up ramp in the west, on which the Romans erected a siege tower, with the help of which a breach was made in the wall, is clearly visible.
- Buildings of the Zealots : The Zealots added some dwellings to the structure, which served as accommodation for the crew of around 1,000, including some caves. It was also necessary to provide people with fresh food.
- the Masada Museum : The reconstructed Masada complex contains the Masada Museum, built to honor leading Israeli archaeologist Yigal Yadin.
- Another attraction of Masada is the writer Torah (Sofer), who painstakingly draws out his sacred writings from day to day.
- Masada is a cliff-top plateau offering incredible vistas of the Dead Sea and Judean Desert. That is why tours to Masada are very popular.
- Cable car : is better to use the cable car, which will take you to the top, Designed by Israeli workers, these high-tech cable cars were improved and modernized in 2000 due to the growing popularity of tourism /
- Snake Path : You can also reach the top of the mountain on foot along the so-called. Snake Path, which takes about 40 minutes. trails that open at 5.30 am ,
- Shopping : The exquisitely designed Masada Shopping Center offers a variety of shops and restaurants before and after your tour.
- Masada is also a venue for both public and private events. Most of the music concerts, including the Philharmonic and the Opera, take place in Masada.
Entry fees : Entry fees include entry to Masada National Park and cable car (one way or both ways). All inclusive ticket + entrance and cable car is about 75 shekels, half the price for children.
Activities : sightseeing / photo opportunities, Here, besides the fortress itself, you will also find a beautiful view of the Dead Sea / trekking, You can also reach the top of the mountain on foot along the so-called. Snake Path. / Private events such as weddings, bar mitzvahs and even business conferences can be organized by event professionals.
Go next : The Ein Gedi Nature Reserve and the Dead Sea / Judaean Desert / Arad , a small city in Israel that lies on the border between the Negev desert and the Judaean Desert.