Palace Steps at Masada
Palace Steps at Masada

In previous posts, I have shown how high Masada is above the Dead Sea area – on the Western side of Masada the height difference is around 100 metres.

So the construction of the palace for King Herod must have been a major engineering feat.

Herod the Great built the fortress of Masada between 37 and 31 BCE. Herod had been made King of Judea by his Roman overlords and was hated by his Jewish subjects. Herod, the master builder, “furnished this fortress as a refuge for himself.” It included a casemate wall around the plateau, storehouses, large cisterns ingeniously filled with rainwater, barracks, palaces and an armoury.

So when the Jews and the Zealots overtook Masada, the structure of the Palace was ideal to put up defenses to keep the Romans at bay. It is of little surprise that it took considerable time for the Romans to penetrate the Fortress.

For more information about Masada