Masada is the site of ancient palaces and strongholds in Southeastern Israel on top of a rock plateau, overlooking the Dead Sea. Masada entered history after the First Jewish-Roman War when an attack of the fortress by the Roman Empire left no alternatives except the option of mass suicide of the Jewish inhabitants of Masada- believed to be a militaristic group of Jews who seemed intent on fighting the Romans to the last man standing.
Today, Masada is a very popular Site to visit in Israel. Cable cars can carry the visitors who do not want to climb up the antique, now renovated, Snake Path. As a result of Masada’s remoteness, it has remained mostly untouched by humans or nature during the past two thousand years. There is still the Roman ramp that can be climbed on foot. Many of the antique buildings have been restored from their remains, as have the paintings of Herod's two main palaces, and the Roman-inspired bath houses that were built for him. The synagogue, storage rooms, and residences of the Jewish inhabitants have also been identified and restored.
As a result of the Inspiring story of the last stand of Masada’s Jewish inhabitants, the Chief of Staff of the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) Moshe Dayan began to hold a ceremony for troops graduating from their basic training at Masada where they swore the oath that "Masada shall never fall again." This practice commenced until recent years.
Masada has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001. A sound and light show is presented nightly on the western side of the mountain. In 2007, a new internationally acclaimed and theatrically inspired museum opened at Masada.