Monfort Fortress – Eilon, Israel

Israel is blessed with several well preserved Crusader fortress. What makes the Monfort special is the stunning setting and that it can be reached via a relatively short hike. It’s also one of the lesser-known Crusader fortresses. 

The British pastor, Henry Baker, visited the place in 1863 and wrote:

“After a very slow ride for three and a half hours, we reached the edge of the trail … and another three miles later, we will discover the fort on the edge of a spur. It’s hard to describe this ruin… Imagine a rocky tongue rising between two 180 meters cliffs, and its ribs are almost perpendicular to the riverbed.”

It was constructed by the Teutonic Order (a Catholic German order founded in Acre in 1190). The Teutons were not popular with other Crusaders who were mostly French. They built the castle in 1228 at a secluded location that suited their worldview, where they could live and operate in a closed and isolated society. 

The fort’s buildings and watchtower are scattered on a steep spur and can be seen from afar. From the fortress, there is a wide vista of the surrounding Galilee mountains and the Mediterranean Sea on the horizon.

Another attraction is the Kziv stream that runs just below the cliff. It makes for an excellent additional short hike and a refreshing swim during the summer.

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