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Masada National Park
Masada means fortress. It is built on an stand-along rock plateau in the South District of Israel approximately 11.2 miles (18 km) south of En Gedi and 7.5 miles (12 km) north of En Bokek. The plateau borders the Judean desert overlooking the Dead Sea. King of Judea, Herod the Great, built Masada between 37 and 31 BC as a fortified hideaway in the event of a war. The plateau itself represents a natural fortress - the cliffs in the east edge of Masada are about 1,300 feet (400 meters) and in the west are about 300 feet (90 meters) high. To reach the top of plateau is not easy. Three narrow, paths (with snake-like shapes if viewed from above) lead to the reinforced gates.
What Makes It Special
Masada is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the place where the historic events of the Great Jewish Revolt against the Roman Empire took place and came to its tragic end. You can find ancient palaces, fortifications and a first-century Roman villa. There are remains of the most complete Roman siege system in the world which are still surround the fortress. For the past two thousand years the site was untouched by humans and nature due to its remoteness and dry climate. Nowadays many buildings are restored: Herod's two main palaces with wall-paintings, Roman-style baths, synagogue, storehouses, and houses of the Jewish rebels.
Directions To Destination
Masada National Park is 11.2 miles (18 km) south from Ein Gedi, or 7.5 miles (12 km) north from Ein Bokek to the cable train. You can go to both places from Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport (TLV) by taxi, shared minibuses (sheruts) or by car (follow directions to Ein Bokek or Ein Gedi). Both, Ein Gedi and Ein Bokek, are accessible via Egged bus from Jerusalem (lines 486 and 487) and Tel Aviv (421, once a day from Arlozorov Station).
Best Time To Go
All year round. The Park may be closed during Yom Kippur - two-day religious observance.
Where To Stay
Useful Visitor Information and Tips
The top of the plateau can be reached by cable-car from the Dead Sea side, or by two trails: