This outstandingly beautiful fortress, which dates from the Crusader and Mameluke periods, commands a magnificent view of the North Huleh Valley and the pass south of the Hermon into Syria. It once served as a highway-stronghold defending the road to Damascus, but following the fall of the second Crusader Kingdom in 1291 it lost its importance and was abandoned. The site contains several towers and walls and a lookout point.
(National Parks Authority)
Entrance Hall of the fortress at Akko (Acre) at the north end of the Bay of Haifa.
The Crusaders converted Akko into their main seaport about 1100, renaming it St. Jean d'Arc, for the town housed the headquarters for the Order of the Knights of St. Jean. During the entire Crusader period, it was an important commercial trade center.
The "Crypt" in the fortress at Akko (Acre)
When the Christian kingdom was reduced in power and realm after the Moslem conquest of Jerusalem, Akko became the capital. The Moslem sultan El Asherat captured the city in 1291 and put an end to Crusader rule in the country.
Belvoir, overlooking the Jordan Valley about 8 miles south of the Sea of Galilee. Belvoir is French for beautiful view. The Hebrew name is Kochav ha-Yarden, Star of the Jordan.
|Belvoir. On the right a dry moat, which surrounds three sides of the fortress, can be seen. The fourth side drops off into the valley.
Belvoir. The "Great Room."
Only a small portion of Belvoir has been restored. The rest of it is original construction.
|Belvoir. The black line on the walls (seen best in this picture on the near ceiling) indicates the limits of original construction (below) and restoration (above).
|Belvoir. Another view of the dry moat and the entrance to a stairwell.