Herod the Great built two palaces for himself on the mountain and fortified Masada between 37 and 31 BCE.
According to Josephus, the siege of Masada by Roman troops at the end of the First Jewish–Roman War ended in the mass suicide of 960 people, the Sicarii rebels and their families who were hiding there.
Masada is one of Israel's most popular tourist attractions.
Masada, meaning “strong foundation or support” in Hebrew, is an ancient stone fortress in Israel, located high above the Dead Sea on a tall, rocky mesa. Now an Israeli national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the 840-acre complex holds well-preserved ruins attesting to the history of the ancient kingdom of Israel and the courage of its people in the face of a Roman siege. Because of the desert climate, the surrounding area is virtually uninhabited and undeveloped.