>  Top Tour Destinations in Northern Israel   >  Atlit Crusaders Fortress

Atlit-crusader-castle-tombstone-580x1024Located 13 miles south of Haifa, the Medieval Fortress of Atlit was erected in 1218 CE by the Templar knights to reinforce their hold along the Mediterranean coastline. Built with the participation of pilgrims, it was known in French as “Chastel Pelerin” or “Château Pèlerin.”

The fortress stood effectively against Muslim attacks and was the last Crusaders’ stronghold in the Holy Land. It was cleared in August 1291, when the previous Templars left for Cyprus and Malta.

Unfortunately, today, the site is part of an Israeli military base, so it is off-limits to civilians. On the other hand, its original cemetery is accessible. One of its tombstones bears the relief of a giant cross.

A visit to Atlit Medieval fortress cemetery can be combined with in a day tour in the north.

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