Asia: Temples, Palaces / Nimrod fortress

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PHOTO: Kobi Zilberstein 3315'9.06" 3542'51.91"

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The Nimrod Fortress (Kalat al-Subeiba in Arabic), is situated in the northern Golan, on a ridge rising some 800 meters above sea level. It is named after a biblical hero, the hunter Nimrod (Genesis 10:8-9) who, according to local tradition, dwelt on this summit. The fortress overlooks the deep, narrow valley separating Mt. Hermon from the Golan Heights and the road linking the Galilee with Damascus (in present-day Syria). The fortress was founded in the Middle Ages, probably by the Crusaders, to defend the city of Banias in the valley below against Muslim incursions. Later, the Muslim rulers of Damascus rebuilt it to defend their border against the Crusaders. During the 12th-13th centuries, it changed hands several times, but it was maintained and strengthened mainly by the Muslims, as attested to by the numerous Arabic inscriptions found incorporated into the building.


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