This site is a major symbol of Jewish resistance.
Masada means fortress and it’s basically a giant cliff/mountain in the middle of the dessert with a plateau on top. Herod built a few palaces on the top, ya know, “just in case” he needed a safe getaway. He stayed there something like twice.
So when the Romans were conquering the holy land, the last bastion of Jewish rebels holed up there and took advantage of Herod’s established food and water supplies. Well, after several years of siege, the Romans finally built a ramp up the side of the mountain by which they rolled up a battering ram. So the story goes that in their last act of noble defiance, all 900+ Jews committed suicide, rather than be enslaved.