Sunday, January 19, 2020

King Herod’s Fortress

Diptych, watercolour and oil pastel
©2020 Charlene Brown

The fortress of Masada is on an isolated mesa high above the Dead Sea. It is renowned for the palaces and fortifications of Herod the Great, king of Judaea prior to the birth of Jesus in nearby Bethlehem, and for its resistance to the Roman siege in 72–73 CE. Masada is one of the most important archaeological sites in Israel because it symbolizes the determination, heroism and eventual martyrdom of its defenders during that siege. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2001.

Climbing the Masada at sunrise, by the winding ‘snake path’ that can be seen in the painting on the left, has become something of a tradition, and our trip to Israel next November will include an ascent (by cable car and not at sunrise) to ‘King Herod’s Fortress’ – if the trip ever actually happens... Perhaps I will know next week if it's still on.