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Masada National Park
Masada is famous for its ancient fortress located atop a desert plateau overlooking the Dead Sea. Masada’s most enduring historical significance is derived from a heroic stand by a handful of Jewish rebels against the Roman Empire during the Jewish Revolt of 66-73 CE. In addition to its status as an Israeli national park, it is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The archaeology of Masada includes the strategically located fortress built by Herod the Great in the 1st century BCE, including a grand Roman villa and cisterns to collect and retain a secure water supply—all overlaid by the modifications of a rebel community. There are also the remnants of Roman siege technology from the 1st century CE. Park facilities include a museum containing the artifacts unearthed during excavation of the site, a restaurant, gift shop, guesthouse, campsites, and a cable car for those who prefer not to hike to the top of the plateau. Hand-held audio guides are available for use by visitors, and park personnel offer a variety of special programs—including a regularly scheduled sound and light show. Masada is open year-round, including an abbreviated schedule on Yom Kippur.