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- Alt Name:
- 200BC - 101BC
- Qasr Bashir , Mamshit,
The fortress of Masada, which rises majestically above the Dead Sea, was originally built in 150BC. The original structure was renovated by Herod the Great in 43BC in order to improve its capacity to withstand drawn-out sieges.
In 66AD, Masada was the site of the last stand of the Jewish Zealots against the Romans after they had fled Jerusalem. According to the Roman historian Flavius Josephus, Masada was the site of a mass suicide when over 960 Jews took their own lives. Rather than being enslaved by the Romans - who after a long seige had finally completed a vast ramp to reach the fortress - ten men killed those residing in the fortress and then each other. In order to compound this defiance the Zealots burned everything except their own food supply.
The site of Masada, which was unearthed in 1968, clearly marks out the passage of the siege. Visitors can see the archeological remains of the fortress and those of the surrounding Roman camps. The site, which has a breathtaking view of the area, is regularly walked in the early hours of the morning in order for visitors to witness the rising of the sun.
Today, visitors can view a wealth of ruins at Masada, a sound and light show telling the story of the siege as well as visiting the new Masada Museum.
Just as empires rise and fall so do entry fees and opening hours! While we work as hard as we can to ensure the information provided here about Masada is as accurate as possible, the changing nature of certain elements mean we can't absolutely guarantee that these details won't become a thing of the past. If you know of any information on this page that needs updating you can add a comment above or now.
Address: Routes 90/3199, Massada National Park, Israel
Phone: +972 (0)8-658-4207/8
18 km south of Ein Gedi along Route 90.
Masada is open 8am-5pm (April–September) and 8am-4pm (October- March). Closes 1 hour early on Fridays and eves of national holidays. On Yom Kippur, open 8am-noon. The last cable-cars leave to the summit an hour before the site closes. The site is accessible either through the climbing the "Snake Path" (29NIS for adults, 15NIS for children) or by cable-car from the eastern-side (76NIS for adults, 44 NIS for children).
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