Yehiam Crusader Fortress

Yehiam Crusader Fortress

A remnant of the Crusader occupation of the Holy Land, Yehiam Fortress has been partially restored to what it would have looked like in the medieval period. Yehiam is close to many of the Galilee's biggest attractions and is an excellent base for tours of the area's holy sites, antiquities and natural wonders. Stay in the nearby guesthouse, designed to look like a medieval castle, or camp on the grounds of the fortress itself.

When the Crusaders arrived in the Holy Land, they built this fortress and many others over the ruins of a Roman fort. It was later renovated by Mamluk and Ottoman rulers, which helped to preserve the old buildings for contemporary tourists.

Before you tour the ancient building, watch the film at the visitors' center. The film centers on the Crusader conquest of the Holy Land and the role the fortress played in Israel's War of Independence in 1948. Kibbutz Yehiam was founded under the British Mandate and was fought over bitterly during the war, until it was eventually secured by the Israel Defense Forces. Kibbutz members took advantage of the fortress' thick walls to defend themselves against Arab armies.

Walk through cave-like entrances into the old stone buildings, including the mosque, watchtower and assembly hall. Surrounding the fortress, in addition to the ruins of the original building, is a moat built in the 18th century. Don't forget to look out the "windows" - the fortress provides stunning views of the Galilee from every angle.

Concerts and shows take place in the fortress, and in the fall a Renaissance Fair is held there.

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