Nimrod’s Crusader Fortress
Referred to as “probably the most exquisite ruins in the world” by Mark Twain, Nimrod's Fortress is an integral part of Crusader history in the Holy Land. Originally built around 1229 by Saladin’s nephew Al- Aziz Uthman, it was conceived to defend the route to Damascus from the Crusader army. It was partially restored during the Ottoman period. Christian tours here include exploration of an archaeological site as well as amazing views of the Hula Valley.
A tour of Nimrod's Fortress takes you through the impressive gate to a gigantic lintel with an inscription from 1275. Next to the gate-tower is a Crusader-period lavatory. Nearby is a large stone with an image of a panther, Mamluk Sultan Beibars' heraldic symbol, attesting to his expansion of the fortress. Continue along the path through the guard towers and past large cisterns, to the fortified tower – a fortress within a fortress. Don't miss the fortress' secret passageway, made of giant stones, which allows those in the know to exit through a concealed doorway.
At the end of your tour, take some time to appreciate the amazing views from the slope of Mount Hermon. You can see the entire Galilee and Golan from the fortress, with a focus on the Hula Valley directly below. On a clear day, you can even spot the mountains of Lebanon.
Combine a visit to Nimrod's Fortress with a tour of Banias Nature Reserve. If you enjoy hiking, take the two-kilometer trail from the fortress down the mountain to the Banias.