Casel Le Destroit
Located approximately 13 miles south of Haifa along Israel's Mediterranean coast, Casel Le Destroit is a medieval Crusader fortress worth including in your Christian tour itinerary. The fortress is known by many other names, including Casel Destreiz, Districtum, Petra Incisa, Horvot Karta and Khirbat Dustray.
While touring the ruins of the fortress, there are a number of architectural details worth noting. Just above the entrance is a large event hall and a water cistern. There are two staircases on either side of the main hall, the one to the south leading down into a large inner yard. The entire structure is protected by a moat that faces the east.
As you’ll learn while touring the site, in its heyday during the 12th century, Casel Le Destroit was in the possession of the Knights Templar, whose mission was to protect pilgrims as they traversed the Holy Land. It served as a kind of fortified police station and deterred robbers and road pirates who often attacked these pilgrims.
Although the exact date of its construction is not known, Casel Le Destroit is presumed to have been constructed in the first half of 12th century. It was destroyed in the early decades of the 13th century, sometime after Chateau Pelerin was built in 1217-18. Chateau Pelerin was a much stronger fortress, located less than a mile west of Casel Le Destroit. With a newer, stronger fortress so close by, Casel Le Destroit had outlived its utility and was dismantled by the Mamluks in order to prevent any enemy, intent on conducting a siege against Chateau Pelerin and its surrounding area, from gaining a foothold.