The Cochav Hayarden National Park is on the eastern part of the Yissahar Ridge, on the edge of the steep slope overlooking the Jordan Valley. The builders of the fortress called it Belvoir (beautiful view) because of its magnificent view, which takes in the Gilad Mountains in Trans-Jordan.
The Crusader fortress was built circa 1140, during the reign of Falk Dango (1131-1142). When the Crusaders originally settled the ridge, they established a fortified agricultural farm here. In 1168, the Order of Hospitalers purchased the land and turned it into one of the most important Crusader fortresses in Eretz Israel. The fortress overlooked the route from the Jordan Valley to Damascus and the route from Nahal Tabor west to the coastal plain and the Via Maris.
The fortress built by the Hospitalers was so strong that it withstood all Saladin`s attempts to seize it (1187-89). Only after a year-and-a-half-long siege, when all the land around them had been captured, did the defenders consent to sign the surrender agreement and move to Zur, a city that was still in Crusader hands.
The fortress here is the best restored and only completely excavated Crusader-period fortress in Israel. The fortress is composed of an external castle with a donjon at its center, a five-sided wall, and a twenty-meter-wide, twelve-meter-deep moat. Towers are positioned at the corners of the fortress.
South of the fortress is a sculpture garden with works by Israeli artist Igael Tumarkin.
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Cafe, Place for barbecue