Masada is an ancient fortress on the top of a secluded cliff, built at the order of King Herod at the eastern edge of the Judean Desert, about 450 above the Dead Sea below. The fortress was intended to be a place of refuge when needed and, as such, it was equipped with systems for collecting and storing water, surrounded by fortifications and prepared for a siege. Masada was the stronghold for the last of the Jewish rebels of the Grand Rebellion in the 1st century. In his book, “The Wars of the Jews”, Josephus says that following a long Roman siege of Masada, as the rebels realized that they had no chance of surviving, they preferred mass suicide over losing their freedom and being sold into slavery.
The Masada National Park is the most popular of Israel’s national parks. UNESCO declared it a World Heritage site.
The Masada National Park is about a 15-minute drive from the Ein Gedi Hotel.
The site consists of a museum that tells the story of Masada, a visitors’ center, audiovisual presentation, cafeteria, cable car to the top of the mountain and, of course, the Masada antiques.
Audio guides are available on site in Hebrew, English, French and German.