Montfort

 

Montfort

Ruins of what was the most impressive  Crusader fortress in the Galilee above Nahal Keziv, 4 miles northwest of  Ma’alot. Built by the Crusaders in the middle of the 12th century, it was protected by steep cliffs on three sides and by a moat. The name Montfort means ‘the strong hill.’

In 1229 it was sold by Frankish Crusaders to the German Teutonic Order of  St. Mary, who changed its name to Starkenberg (strong hill). It was destroyed by Saladin in 1187 and rebuilt by the Hospitaller knights in 1229. It was later taken again by the Moslems in 1271. The Arabic name is  Qalat el Qurein (Qurein fortress) after Nahal Qurein which is the Arabic name for Nahal Keziv.

The fortress was mainly in the Gothic style and included a single gate, knights’ quarters, halls, chapel and an 59 foot-high tower built of large dressed stones.

Remains: At the foot of  the fortress on a slope towards Nahal Keziv are remains of another Crusader structure – the main building of a farmstead. In the stream bed are remains of a dam from where water was taken to the fortress.

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