Most know the story of Masada, the fortress built by Herod the Great between 37 and 31 BCE.  He built two palaces for himself on this mountain fortification.  Josephus wrote about the siege of Masada by Roman troops from 73 to 74 CE at the end of the First Jewish-Roman War.  It ended in the mass suicide of 960 rebels who were hiding there.

Read the book and watch the movie.  It’s an amazing story.

When I was young, I hiked to the top.  Today I was grateful for the tram.

From Masada, you can look out to the Dead Sea.

Looking over the edge:

Once on top, we stayed with our group.  There were dozens of busloads of tourists visiting.  They say 750,000 people visit here every year.  The guides are good at spacing everyone out so you hardly see the other groups.

Here’s a model of the Northern Palace:

I loved seeing these hutches for doves, especially after reading Alice Hoffman’s book, The Dovekeeper.

Imagine all the energy that went into creating, maintaining and defending this place!  And at what cost??

About Ann Laemmlen Lewis

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