Atop the Desert Fortress of Masada (מצדה)

Want to view more photos from Masada? Visit the Masada (מצדה) location page, and be sure to check out the view from the top.

In the Israeli desert overlooking the Dead Sea sits Masada, an ancient ruined city atop a tall plateau. More than 2,000 years old, the settlement’s significant fortifications were erected between 37 and 31 BCE by King Herod, who also built a palace in the city.

In 72 CE, Jewish rebels that had taken control of the city several years prior came under siege by the Roman army. Over the course of a year the Romans bombarded Masada while building a ramp up the side of the plateau, eventually overcoming the city’s defenses.

The ramp and the army’s fortifications remain to this day, and tourists can either walk up the narrow snaking foot path or take a gondola to the top. Explore more photos by visiting the Masada location page.