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Crusader Route

April 8, 2020

Fascinated by knights, knighthood and chivalry? Relive it by following the Crusaders in the Holyland.

The Crusaders were knights on a mission to establish Christendom, rallied by popes and fueled with religious fervor, they set out from Europe to liberate Jerusalem.

Although the Crusaders governed most of the Holyland for a period of less than 200 years, which in historical terms is rather short, their mark can be seen almost everywhere.

The Crusaders in Jerusalem

Although the walls of the city are from a much later period, there is no mistaking the Crusader presence when walking around the Old City. From King David’s Tomb and the cenacle, to the remnants of the German hospice on Mt. Zion; and from the magnificent Church of St. Anne, which is an intact and original Crusader building that was not destroyed but rather converted into a school (madrasa ) under Moslem rule and which still retains the Arabic sign, to the remnants of an underground Crusader hospital run by the Hospitaller Knights in the Muristan area of the Christian Quarter, uncovered by archeological excavations held in 2013, and of course the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, with its Crusader façade.

As you walk around you can imagine the streets teeming with pilgrims, residents and various orders of knights, the more renowned being the Templars (who were an elite warrior force and guards of the temple – hence their name) and Hospitallers.


The Church of the Holy Sepulcher - The facad

The Church of the Holy Sepulcher – The facad


The Crusaders in Acre

Following the conquest of Jerusalem in 1187 by Saladin, the Crusaders established themselves in Acre, constructing a fortress, the remnants of which have been restored. Located on the sea and near the port, the Templars, who by this time had become a formidable force and very rich, constructed a tunnel that could be used as an escape route and a hidden means of entering the castle. The tunnel as well as much of the castle are accessible and can be visited today. In the spirit of reviving the Crusader kingdom, the restored castle and tunnel provide the perfect backdrop for an authentic knights’ experience, in the form of medieval style feasts, stalls, and jousting matches that are provided for visiting guests.


The fortress of Akko

The fortress of Akko


The Crusaders in Atlit

Construction of the Chateau Pelerin or Atlit Castle was commenced by the Templars in 1218 to fortify their hold in the Holyland. It could hold over 5000 troops and its position on a promontory flanked by the sea on two sides, made it difficult to siege or conquer. After the fall of Acre, it remained the last stronghold of the Crusaders, who remained there until defeated by the Mamelukes in 1291. The castle was destroyed by an earthquake in 1837, and has never been restored. Today it can only be seen from afar, as it is the site of a military base in Israel. The ancient cemetery beside it is open to the public.

So now, all those whose imaginations were captured by “Assassin Creed” and “The Da Vinci Code” can visit Israel and bring their stories to life by taking the Crusader route. Let us know, and we will make it happen.


The dinning hall in the Hospitallers quarter

The dinning hall in the Hospitallers quarter


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