Masada © Ana Paula Hirama
The mountaintop fortress of Masada (sometimes spelled Massada) is one of Israel's most popular and remarkable tourist attractions. Situated in the Judean Desert and overlooking the Dead Sea, this site is where 967 Jewish Zealots rose against Rome in 66 AD, taking their own lives when defeat seemed inevitable. King Herod built the ancient fortress they defended against Roman siege. Visitors can still explore the ruins of ancient structures and palaces, and see the remains of the most complete Roman siege system in the world. The Roman camps, siege wall and ramp are still clearly visible. Masada is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a place of profound interest for military-history buffs.