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Atop the Desert Fortress of Masada (מצדה)

Want to view more photos from Masada? Visit the Masada (מצדה) location page, and be sure to check out the view from the top.

In the Israeli desert overlooking the Dead Sea sits Masada, an ancient ruined city atop a tall plateau. More than 2,000 years old, the settlement’s significant fortifications were erected between 37 and 31 BCE by King Herod, who also built a palace in the city.

In 72 CE, Jewish rebels that had taken control of the city several years prior came under siege by the Roman army. Over the course of a year the Romans bombarded Masada while building a ramp up the side of the plateau, eventually overcoming the city’s defenses.

The ramp and the army’s fortifications remain to this day, and tourists can either walk up the narrow snaking foot path or take a gondola to the top. Explore more photos by visiting the Masada location page.

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Exploring Japan’s Modern Ruins with @neji_maki_dori

For more photos from abandoned sites around Japan, be sure to follow @neji_maki_dori on Instagram.

Tokyo-based Instagrammer @neji_maki_dori has been exploring abandoned buildings in Japan ever since his first visit to the ruins of a sulfer mine in 2006. “The overwhelming scale, inorganic and deserted feel, moldy smell and excitement were all very refreshing and inspiring to me at the time,” he says. “I’ve been captivated by ruins ever since.”

@neji_maki_dori sources locations from printed materials about abandoned sites and the collective knowledge base of his fellow explorers. From mines and towers to apartment blocks and even a larger-than-life building in the shape of a cow, his adventures take his followers through some of Japan’s most forgotten places.

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