Climb Masada at Sunrise
A visit to Masada is an exciting experience. The chilling story and the archaeological remains contribute to the special atmosphere of the site and preserve its magnificent past. It was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2001 and remains at the top of most visited attraction year after year.
Masada is situated on the top of a tall desert mountain overlooking the rolling orange plains and the Dead Sea. The thrilling story of the site reveals the courage of the defenders of Masada and their battle against the conquering Romans. As the story is told against the incredible desert back drop, it is as thrilling as a Hollywood movie as the history is filled with tension, struggle, and love.
A brief history:
The fortress of Masada was built in the year 30 BCE by King Herod, whose architectural feats have left their mark throughout the country. At the beginning of the great revolt against Rome in the year 68 BCE, the site was conquered by a group of Jewish zealots, and Masada became their last stronghold. In the year 72 the Romans besieged Masada and succeeded in reaching the steep fortress after constructing a huge earthen ramp on its western side. In the year 73, the 960 Jewish zealots living at the top of Masada chose to commit suicide rather than to fall into the hands of the Romans. Their deeds left behind a saga of courage, heroism, and martyrdom.
Masada is extremely high, and if you like a challenge it can be ascended on foot by the winding "snake path" or for the scenic route you can go by a cable car that runs from the tourist centre at the foot of Masada to the top. The tourist centre itself features a movie about the story of Masada so you have a background, a model of the site to get you familiar with your surroundings and an exhibit of the archaeological findings.
The newest activity at Masada is its annual Opera Festival. The site comes alive with magnificent lighting effects and beautiful performances that will leave you breath taken.
For information about Massada: http://www.masada.org.il/en