Nimrod’s Fortress – Golan Heights

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Background: Nimrod’s Fortress sits at the very northern tip of Israel, and the fortress itself sits on the top of a mountain range overlooking the rest of the Golan. Nimrod was one of Noah’s legendary descendants who, according to tradition, built the Tower of Babel and this fortress to shoot arrow up to God. However the fortress was actually built by Saladin’s nephew, Al-Aziz Uthman, in 1229, to protect the road to Damascus from Crusaders. It was quickly rendered useless once the Crusaders left the Holy Land.

Impressions: Nimrod’s Fortress was amazing and probably the best fortress/castle I’ve been to (and I’ve lived in Europe). I’ve only been to European medieval castles and fortresses, so Nimrod’s Fortress, with its distinctive Islamic architecture, is fascinating. The arches make it much more elegant. The octagonal room (with an octagonal pillar in the center), used to guard the fortress, was great and something I had never seen before. But the best part was the view from the highest tower; then you realize why this was such a strategic location for a fortress. The view is amazing, you can see for miles (kilometers here), and you get to really appreciate the Golan, its mountains and greenery, and how different it is from the rest of the country.

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~ by jonathanmtsai on May 1, 2011.

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