The Masada Fortress ~ A Story of Valor Against All Odds
Get ready to be wowed by the great fortress of Masada. It is a rugged natural fortress located in the Judean Desert, overlooking the Dead Sea. The Fortress is a symbol of the ancient Kingdom of Israel. Its violent destruction was the last stand that the Jewish patriots held against the ruthless Roman Army in 73AD.
The Masada Fortress was built as a palace complex in the classic style of early Roman Empire by the then King of Judaea – Herod the Great. The fortifications, camps, and attack ramp that surround the monument are the best example of a Roman siege that stands to date. The Masada was the last refuge of Jewish survivors who chose death to becoming slaves when Judaea became a Roman Province. It is one of the most symbolic monuments to the Jewish people in Israel.
Apart from its symbolic value to the Jewish people, it also has a lot of significance to the archaeologists in that its remains are still intact. The Herod’s palace and the siege works built by Romans are the most complete of such works anywhere in the Roman World.
King Herod reigned over Judaea from 37BCE to 4 CE. He is credited with having built the Masada Complex. Noteworthy is the ‘hanging’ palace that features 3 terraces. Its opulence and architectural design showcases the Romans ability to deliver an engineering masterpiece in the worst of conditions. On the northern face of the dramatic mountain, you are going to find a palace that hosts some outstanding collection of Roman Imperial Buildings. The water system of the complex is very sophisticated. It was built to collect runoff water in a single day of reign to sustain hundreds of people for 2 to 3 years. This water management system allowed transformation of a barren isolated hilltop into a royal retreat of unequalled beauty.
Masada remains one of the most poignant symbols of continuous human struggle against oppression. That the Jewish could sustain a revolt for that long against the mighty Roman Empire remains one of the most inspiring stories from the ancient world. The story goes ahead to paint a picture of valor against all odds.