Masada - The Ancient Palace with a Dramatic History


Masada is an ancient palace and fortification in the South District of Israel on top of an isolated rock plateau on the eastern edge of the Judean Desert, which has got a very dramatic history. During one siege of the Roman Empire everyone in this place led to suicide instead of slavery…

Masada looks awesome. It is an ancient palace (or what is left of it) on one of the highest rocks in the desert, which has got only two ways up. One very small and narrow path, which would take a day to climb up, and another, more modern – cable car. I choose the second one and after several minutes I am already on the top of the rock, where Masada ruins come in front of my lomoeyes.

The story is very dramatic. During the siege of the Roman Empire, Romans did attack each city in the lands of Israel, till they reached Masada. On the top of the rock there was a palace, a city, a town… even call it a republic, because they had their own leaders and so on. The Romans wanted to attack this place, but it was too difficult, so the settled around the rock (you can see the leftovers of the barracks in my pictures on the ground from the top view). They waited for several months, but nothing happened – the Masada citizens had their unique style of food and water gatherings. They used pigeons, which could fly away to eat food and then came back for dinner party of Masadians… The water came from the rain, which was gathered in a very hygienic way.

They had special rooms for food gatherings, so they saved a lot and they could have lived happily ever after, but the Romans could not stand that. So they used the slaves from other burnt cities to build another hill, like a gateway to the entrance of the Masada (you can see this in the picture as well). It took 2 years to get ready for the final attack, but as the troops reached the doors of Masada, the wind got up and the fire on the door started flaming in different ways very strongly. So the army thought, let’s go back and wait for the morning – there is no way for Masadians to escape anyway. During the night, in Masada everyone gathered in one place, they chose 10 people, who could kill everyone – from babies to mothers and grandparents. After this “blood work” was finished, they pointed their names on the special plates, and only one or ten was chosen to kill the other 9 and commit suicide. You can imagine the faces of the Roman troops, when they found only dead people in the morning… Well, almost… Imagine yourself in the place of Masadian “murderer” – could you kill your own children? The Romans did find several people, who were hidden – some Masadians could not kill their own families, so those 2 or 3 left Masadians told the whole story to the world, which right now I am retelling to you. What else? The Masada is near the Dead Sea, and is surrounded by the desert. You should choose spring, because later there are a lot of sand-storms, plus high heat, so you have difficulties (like I had) in finding the secrets of Masada…

written by jogintas on 2009-07-06 #places #mountain #travel #history #desert #sand #fortress #palace #hill #heat #war #rock #suicide #location #ancient #israel #roman-empire #siege #dead-sea #masada


  1. stouf
    stouf ·

    Hooo what a terrible piece of History... Excellent documentation though. Both the text and the shots are amazing... But still... It's perturbing...

  2. vicuna
    vicuna ·

    yes, terrible (Hi)story.... the place looks amazing and the pics with the story makes a very special location! Can't wait to see all your other Israel locations!! :)

  3. dogma
    dogma ·

    Fantastic shots and history!

  4. rater
    rater ·

    Wow, thanks for the history lesson, I did not know anything about Masada... thanks for uncovering its mysteries with your text and shots.

  5. sugiyamasatomi
    sugiyamasatomi ·

    how sad:( the story reminds of many incidents in Japanese history. the way the masadian delt with the situation is how japanese did back in the time. I love history whether it's sad or happy because that's what created the future/today. great review and photos;)

  6. day3hugger
    day3hugger ·

    wow! what a great review, very informational , what an amazing experience to be there

  7. superlighter
    superlighter ·

    a lot of thoughts...a lot...

More Interesting Articles