Facts and Data

Official Unesco Page
Israel Nature & National Parks Protection Authority
Masada National Park (Israel Nature & National Parks Protection Authority)

Basis Data:
Unesco World heritage since: 2001
Size of heritage: 276 ha
- Buffer zone: 28,965 ha

Longitude: 35,353°
Latitude: 31,314°


Masada is a rugged natural fortress, of majestic beauty, in the Judaean Desert overlooking the Dead Sea. It is a symbol of the ancient kingdom of Israel, its violent destruction and the last stand of Jewish patriots in the face of the Roman army, in 73 A.D. It was built as a palace complex, in the classic style of the early Roman Empire, by Herod the Great, King of Judaea, (reigned 37 – 4 B.C.). The camps, fortifications and attack ramp that encircle the monument constitute the most complete Roman siege works surviving to the present day.

Location on Map

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Masada is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in Israel, specifically in the Southern District, near the Dead Sea. This ancient fortress holds great historical and cultural significance, attracting visitors from around the world. With its rich history and well-preserved ruins, Masada offers a unique glimpse into the past.


The history of Masada dates back to the 1st century BCE when it was initially constructed as a lavish palace complex by King Herod the Great. Situated atop a rugged plateau, it served as a symbol of Herod's power and opulence. However, its true historical significance lies in the events that unfolded during the Jewish-Roman War.

In 66 CE, a group of Jewish rebels known as the Sicarii seized control of Masada, using it as a stronghold against the Roman Empire. The Romans, determined to crush the rebellion, laid siege to the fortress in 72 CE. Despite being vastly outnumbered, the Sicarii held their ground for several years.

However, in 73 CE, the Romans finally breached the walls of Masada. Rather than surrendering, the Sicarii chose mass suicide, believing it to be a preferable fate to capture and enslavement. This tragic event has become a symbol of Jewish resistance and resilience.

Current State

Today, Masada stands as a testament to the ancient world and the struggles of its inhabitants. The site has been meticulously preserved, allowing visitors to experience the grandeur of the fortress and gain insight into the lives of those who lived there.

One of the most remarkable features of Masada is its well-preserved architecture. The palace complex, complete with luxurious bathhouses, storerooms, and living quarters, showcases the opulence of King Herod's reign. The remains of the Roman siege ramp, built to breach the fortress walls, are also visible, serving as a reminder of the conflict that took place.

Visitors can explore the site through a network of pathways and staircases, offering panoramic views of the surrounding desert landscape. The Snake Path, a winding trail leading to the summit, is a popular choice for those seeking a challenging hike. Alternatively, a cable car provides a more accessible option for visitors.

Aside from its historical significance, Masada also offers a range of cultural experiences. The site hosts regular events, including theatrical performances and concerts, which bring the ancient ruins to life. These events provide a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in the history and atmosphere of Masada.


Masada, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Israel, is a captivating destination that offers a glimpse into the past. Its historical significance, stemming from the Jewish-Roman War, and its well-preserved ruins make it a must-visit for history enthusiasts and cultural explorers alike. Whether hiking the Snake Path or attending a performance, visitors to Masada are sure to be captivated by its beauty and the stories it holds.

Hotels and places to stay

Kfar Hanokdim

Distance: 4,9 mi
POB 1568
89100 Arad

Time Information

Checkout: 11:00 - Checkin: 15:00
Weekday: -
Weekend: closed