Aqua-Bella

Aqua-Bella nestles in a green valley in the Jerusalem Mountains. Several springs run through this lovely valley, creating a stream that flows year-round. The Crusaders built a fortified farm, with a structure that has been preserved. The Crusaders gave this spot and its main spring the Latin name Aqua Bella – “beautiful water”.

In 1099 the Crusaders conquered Palestine. Jerusalem was vanquished after a siege that lasted five weeks. The Crusaders held on to Palestine for some 200 years. They built fortresses in strategic locations throughout the land, ensuring their military domination. The Crusader structure at Aqua Bella has not been widely documented. It is mentioned in documents relating to 1163-1169. A number of documents  raise the possibility that the fortress in Aqua Bella, built on agricultural land, may have belonged at that time to the order of Hospitaller Knights.

Based upon architectural findings, it was concluded that the fortress at Aqua Bella was built during the Period of King Fulk of Anjou, between 1140 and 1160 A.D. , at a time that other fortress were  built in neighboring Belmont (Ysuba) and Emmaus (Latrun).

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