To the Top of Masada

15 Jan

A visit to Masada was on the agenda for the second day of our long weekend getaway. In case you were snoozing during history class or missed out on the made-for-TV miniseries starring the two Peters (O’Toole and Strauss), Masada is a fortress/palace/spa built by Herod the Great atop a plateau in the Judean desert overlooking the Dead Sea. This grandiose monument was only one of Herod’s many constructions in the Holy Land. Walking through the site I kept thinking this guy really embodied the idea of chutzpah. After Herod died, Masada became the refuge of some Israeli rebels who held this last stronghold during the first Jewish-Roman war. The now-disputed story goes that the entire Israeli population at Masada committed suicide after a long siege by the Romans who inevitably surrounded the site and broke through the wall atop the plateau.

Me and Masada

Me and Masada

Masada Cable Car

We took the cable car up to the top of the plateau. Other stauncher souls wound their way up by foot along the Snake Path.

Remains of the Northern Palace

Remains of the Northern Palace

View of the Dead Sea from Masada

View of the Dead Sea from Masada with remains of one of the Roman camps in the foreground.

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