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Belvoir Castle (Israel)

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Belvoir Castle (Israel)

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Belvoir Castle (Hebrew Kokhav haYarden - the 'Star of the Jordan'; Arabic Kaukab al-Hawa - the 'Star of the Winds') is a magnificently-located Crusader castle, situated in an isolated hill top position high above the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel. Today, the castle is protected as an Israeli National Park and receives thousands of visitors annually.


Located on a hill of the Naphtali plateau, 20 km south of the Sea of Galilee shoreline and about 500 m above the floor of the Jordan Valley, the fortress at Belvoir was originally a part of the feudal estate of a French nobleman named Velos who lived in Tiberias. Sold it to the Order of the Hospitallers in 1168, under their ownership Belvoir was built in a virtually impregnable fortress - a castle built in concentric design and strategically located on a number of primary trade and access routes.

Belvoir served its primary purpose as an obstacle to the Muslim goal of invading the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem from the east, withsatnding the attack of Muslim forces in 1180.

Following the victory of the Muslim army under Salah al-Din (Saladin) over the Crusaders at the battle of the Horns of Hattin, Belvoir was besieged, the siege lasting 18 months, until the defenders surrendered on 5 January 1189.

Belvoir's fortification were dismantled in 1217-18 by the Muslim rulers who feared the reconquest of the fortress by the Crusaders.

In 1240 Belvoir was ceded to the Crusaders by agreement, however lack of funds did not permit them to restore the fortifications and it eventually returned to Muslim control.

Get in[edit]

From Route 90, travelling between Beth Shean and Tiberias, turn left onto route 717 (signposted) about 15 km north of Beth Shean.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Kokhav haYarden National Park [1], open April-September 8am-5pm, October - March 8am-4pm, tel 06 658 1766, admission ₪18 adults, ₪8 children; groups ₪15 adults, ₪7 children, free entry with valid National Parks Card,

    • Belvoir Castle
    • Igael Tumarkin Sculpture Garden

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Enjoy the panoramic views over the Jordan Valley

Eat[edit][add listing]

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Get out[edit]

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