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Masada fortress

Masada must not fall, this reputation is part of the swearing in of recruits of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), whose training ended at the Masada fortress until a few years ago. Politically, the fortress stands for Israel's unconditional will for freedom. The cry “Masada must not fall” can be equated with the statement “Israel must no longer fall”. Masada is an important symbol for the defense of the country and also a popular place for Bar Mitzvah celebrations of Israeli families.

For me, Massada is my oldest lost place: over 2000 years old! The site is open to the public. You can explore the flat mountain peak as part of a guided tour or independently.

With Masada, Herod the Great left behind a powerful building in the middle of the desert on the edge of the Dead Sea, built 37-31 BC. During the "Great Revolt against the Romans" (60 to 70 AD) the Masada was occupied by the Zealots, Jewish radical resistance. In AD 72, two years after the fall of Jerusalem, the governor Flavius deployed the Tenth Legion against the in every way defeated Jewish rebels. It was only after an eight-month siege, during which a 4.5 kilometer long outer wall with eight military camps and a ramp was built on the country side, that the Romans were given the conditions for a conquest. But only the massive attack brought visible success. In this hopeless situation, on the first day of Passover, the besieged decided to commit collective murder in order not to fall into the hands of the enemy. Everything was burned except the food to show that they had not starved. According to tradition from Flavius Josephus, two women and five children survived who are said to have hidden in a water pipe and thus escaped death. Out of respect for the act of honor, the Roman commander is said to have given these women and children freedom.

Once you have overcome the 400 meters of altitude difference from the valley station (whether by cable car or on foot via the so-called snake path) and arrive at the top of the rocky plateau, you can look at the events that took place in 72 and 73 and the myth Justify Masada, vividly introduce it.

From up here you can have a wonderful view of the whole area: all around at the foot of the mountain massif you can see the earth wall that was raised by the Romans as an encirclement. The stone ramparts of a total of eight troop camps of the Roman governor of Judea, Flavius Silva, lie like pearls on a string. In the west you can see the layers of earth piled up to form a ramp, over which the Xth Legion finally stormed the fortress. In an easterly direction you have a beautiful view of the Dead Sea.

You can see the opening times here.

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