Masada is a rugged natural fortress, of majestic beauty, in the Judean Desert overlooking the Dead Sea. It is a symbol of the ancient kingdom of Israel, its violent destruction and the last stand of Jewish patriots in the face of the Roman army, in 73 A.D. It was built as a palace complex, in the classic style of the early Roman Empire, by Herod the Great, King of Judea, (reigned 37 – 4 B.C). The camps, fortifications and attack ramp that encircle the monument constitute the most complete Roman siege works surviving to the present day.
Justification for Inscription
Criterion (iii) Masada is a symbol of the ancient Jewish kingdom of Israel, of its violent destruction in the later 1st century CE, and of the subsequent Diaspora.
Criterion (iv) The palace of Herod the Great at Masada is an outstanding example of a luxurious villa of the Early Roman Empire, whilst the camps and other fortifications that encircle the monument constitute the finest and most complete Roman siege works to have survived to the present day.
Criterion (vi) The tragic events during the last days of the Jewish refugees who occupied the fortress and palace of Masada make it a symbol both of Jewish cultural identity and, more universally, of the continuing human struggle between oppression and liberty.