Belvoir / Kohav-Hayarden

The Crusader fortress of Belvoir, located on a hill of eastern lower Galilee, 20 km south of the Sea of Galilee and about 550 meters above the Jordan Valley. In Hebrew it is known as Kohav Hayarden, meaning – Star of the Jordan which preserves the name of Kohav – a Jewish village which existed nearby during the Roman and Byzantine periods. The Muslims called it Kaukab al-Hawa meaning “Star of the Winds” — representing the strong winds on this hill top.

In 1168, the Hospitaller Knights purchased these lands from a French noble family named Velos. They built a spectacular strong concentric castle on the site.

The fortress of Belvoir served its purpose as a major obstacle to the Muslim goal of invading the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem from the east. It withstood the attack of the Muslim forces in 1180.

Following the victory of the Muslim army under Saladin over the Crusaders at the battle of the Horns of Hittin, Belvoir was besieged. The siege lasted a year and a half, until the defenders surrendered on 5 January 1189.

The fortifications of Belvoir were dismantled in 1217-18 by the Muslim rulers who feared the reconquest of the fortress by the Crusaders.

The Moat

 

The Main Gate

The Inner Eastern Gate

The Outer Fortress Vaults

 

Water Cistern

 

The Courtyard

 

The Inner Fortress

The Western Gate

 

Vaults of the Inner Fortress

 

The Central Court

Cistern and a Laundry Yard

Kitchen

 

The Postern (Sally Port)

A hidden staircase leads down to the moat.

The View from the Fortress – The Jordan Valley

 

 

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