Nimrod Fortress (Qalat Nimrud)


Southern fortress walls


View of the southern walls


Western tower of the fortress

Nimrod Fortress (Qalat Nimrud)

Ruins of a large fortress on southern slopes of Mt. Hermon, 2 km. northeast of Banyas. Erected by Crusaders between 1130 and 1140. Taking advantage of the mountain’s natural features, it was built long and narrow – 450×60 meters (1476×197 feet). Arab legend attributes the building of fortress to Nimrod, the mighty hunter.

Also called Qalat es Subeiba by the Arabs. In 1164 it fell to Nureddin. In 1219 the sultan of Damascus destroyed the fortress to prevent it from falling into Crusader hands. Between 1225 and 1230 it was rebuilt by Othman, nephew of Saladin, and additional building was carried out by Sultan Baybars. After the fall of the Crusader Kingdom, the fortress lost its importance and was later abandoned.

Remains of its towers and walls can be seen today. Moslem wall paintings were discovered in the keep, at the eastern edge of the castle.
The Fortress can be approached from the western side, where a rock-cut moat protects the ramparts.


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