Massada is situated on the top of a mountain with steep sides and a flat top like a parapet overlooking the desert panorama to the west and the Dead Sea to the east. The thrilling story of the site reveals the courage of the defenders of Massada and their battle against the conquering Romans.
The fortress of Massada was built in the year 30 BCE by King Herod, whose architectural feats have left their mark throughout the country. The site was conquered by a group of Jewish zealots, at the beginning of the great revolt against Rome in the year 68 BCE, and Massada became their last stronghold. In the year 72 the Romans besieged Massada and succeeded in reaching the steep fortress after constructing a huge earthen ramp on its western side. In the year 73, the 960 Jewish zealots living at the top of Massada chose to commit suicide rather than to fall into the hands of the Romans alive. Their deeds left behind a saga of courage, heroism, and martyrdom.