"Masada Sun Rise" Israel Things to Do Tip by freya_heaven

Israel Things to Do: 781 reviews and 1,392 photos

by freya_heaven

Masada is a huge rock next to the Dead Sea.

To get to the top you could take one of the two paths, or get the cable car.

Masada was first built on and used as a fortress in 103 BC. In 35 BC Herod the Great took Masada and planned to use it as a bolt hole should things turn sour for him with Cleopatra. In 66 AD Zealots captured the fortress, which them became a Jewish refuge, With a very tragic end...........................

The story goes, there were 967 people living on the summit of Masada. The Romans were about to successfuly storm and capture Masada, but the Jews decided they would rather die then be captured by the Romans.

So it was decided 10 people would kill the other 957 men, women & children, then 9 of the remaining would then kill themseves, the one remaining survivor would then set fire to the place before then killing himself.

Once the Romans were in Masada they found a woman & child who had hidden from the killing, which is how the story of what happened was told.

There are of course other theories, but the above is the most dramatic & moving.

Today the story of Masada is important as a symbol of Israel, all Israeli school children visit Masada and the army have their swearing in ceremonies up there.

We got to Masada before dawn and walked up to capture the dunrise over the Dead Sea. Quite hard work, but very worth it.

It is quite incredible what was built on the summit, villas with swimming pools, barracks, houses, public baths, advanced water storage system. The ruins of many of these can still be seen today.

Masada was forgotten for centurys, then it was seen from a boat on the Dead Sea in the 1800's and was then rediscovered.

Dont forget to look at my MASADA pages


Next to the Dead Sea

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  • Updated Jan 8, 2005
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