Masada – Thursday November 27th 2014 – Time: 14:02
Relaxed after our stay at the Dead Sea and with some WIFI problems because of the mountains around us, we arrived to our next stop,
Masada is situated on a flat summit of a mountain about 450m above the Dead Sea. This place was an ancient settlement dated in 70 AC of families running away from the Romans in Jerusalem. These 1000 people, including children, women and elderly had to take an important decision in front of a Roman siege in 72 AC. Live as slaves for Roma or die. Once the Romans gained the summit, they found a place without life. Everybody had committed suicide rather than surrender.
After a video explaining Masada, we had to access the summit. There were two ways: walking along the Snake Path, the trail that runs like a snake from the bottom till the summit; or a more comfortable and expensive way, the cable car. We took the Cable.
During the ascent with th Cable car, Tiki told us that before the fatal decision that its inhabitants had to take, Masada was the place where Herod built his fort and palace as a second home to celebrate lavish parties and spend long periods. It was a peaceful, secure and rich place.
Upon reaching the top we could see stunning views of the Dead Sea and the Judean Desert. Looking this view I could understand why Herod chose to get up every morning with this views.
Masada was declared UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001. It kepts certain structures such us a synagogue, houses, market, bath, caldarium (hammam),… even Masada had a system for collecting and storing rain water through piping systems and tanks in the mountain.
The most impressive building in Masada is undoubtedly Herod’s Palace. This building has various administrative rooms, own protection and it was the place chosen by Herod to stay when he was in Masada. Herod’s room had 3 terraces on different levels.
We did not have much time to visit this magical place. A shame but we were near to the closing time, 16hr. In winter tourist attractions close with Sunset, 16.30 in Israel. During my the next visit I will need at least a full morning to discover it.
Masada is an great place to visit and an amazing scenario for international events like the one that took place in 2013 when David Guetta made dance over 25,000 attendees to a unique evening.