A short account of Masada, given by your Israel & Jerusalem private tour guide]
There are very good reasons why UNESCO designated Masada as a World Heritage Site. Its location and the amazing view of the Judean desert and Dead Sea, its uniqueness as a mountain and fortress, and above all – its two unbelievable stories: the story of its construction and the story of its end.
The first story
In 37 BCE, after fighting a very long, bloody war against his people, King Herod (later known as King Herod the Great) began his rule. He knew that he was hated so deeply for who he was and what he did. Therefore, he took several measures to prevent any revolt. However, if a successful revolt was to happen, and he was forced to run for his life, he needed to have a place that would protect him until he could be saved by his benefactors, the Romans. He chose an ideal place by the Dead Sea for this end – Masada.
What we are going to witness is the way this large complex was designed in the most perfect way to protect Herod: the walls and towers, a huge water system, a complex of store rooms for food and arms, an army base, a bath house – and above all, the most remote and highly defensible spot – his private palace, seemingly hanging on the rocks.