Crusaders` Castles and fortifications in Jerusalem , inland and the Port Cities along the Mediterranean shores
The three-day tour will focus on the archaeological sites and remains from the days of the Latin (Crusader) Kingdom of Jerusalem (1099-1291 C.E.).
We will start the adventure with half a day visit to medieval Jerusalem, the holy city captured during the 1stCrusade. We will visit the JerusalemCitadel (Tower of David), discuss its remarkable history, archaeology and its symbolic significance in the past up to the present. We will walk through the Hospitallers (knights of Saint John) Quarter and visit the church of the Holy Sepulcher. Later we will set out from the holy city and drive down to the Jordan River in order to visit the place where, according to tradition, Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. Then we will drive north along the Jordan Valley and visit Belvoir, one of the most remarkable (and one of the best preserved) castles, built by the Franks signifying the prime of crusader military architecture. Overnight in a Kibbutz Guesthouse in Galilee.
We shall start our second day with a visit to the recently excavated 1stcentury synagogue of Magdala, where a very intriguing decorated stone object was found. From Magdala we shall climb on the steep volcanic slopes of the eastern Galilee to where in early July 1187 the Franks suffered a decisive defeat to the Muslim forces under the volcanic hill known as The Horns of Hattin. Overlooking the battlefield, we will learn how landscape reconstruction and archaeological finds (some from the battle itself) enable us to understand this significant historical event better than ever before. We shall then visit the crusader castle of Vadum Iacob, overlooking the Jordan River, which was built and destroyed within eleven months. There we will learn about the castle`s remarkable story and its archaeological and geological significance. A drive across the Galilee to the west will take us to the Teutonic castle of Montfort, we will view the castle from Park Goren and learn about the castle and what archaeological studies have taught us about it. We will end the day with a short visit to Acre (Akko). Dinner and overnight in Acre
After breakfast we will continue to explore medieval Acre, we shall visit sites such as the Hospitallers headquarters, the Port and the Templar`s Tunnel. While driving down the Mediterranean coastline, we will drive up to Mount Carmel for a magnificent panoramic view over the Bay. Continue south for a short stop by ChâteauPelerin (Atlit) that was built with the serious aid of pilgrims and was the last Frankish stronghold in the Holy Land (1291 C.E. ). Our trip further down the coastline, will take us to Caesarea. Here we will see the beautiful remains of the Crusaders` wall and moat as well as the Roman Theatre and Aqueduct. We will also stop at the town and castle of Arsuf. , We will visit the recently located battlefield of Arsuf where Richard 1st King of England inflicted a decisive blow to Saladin and his men on September 7th 1191 during the 3rd Crusade. We will end the day visiting the historical and enchanting Jaffa located at the southern part of modern Tel Aviv.
Important: Program might change due to unexpected circumstances !
5-11 March 2016, special tour * : "Jerusalem and the land of the Bible"