Château Pèlerin

Atlit, Israel

Château Pèlerin, also known as Atlit, is a Crusader fortress and fortified town located about 2 kilometres north of the modern Israeli town of Atlit on the northern coast of Israel.

The Knights Templar began building the fortress in 1218 during the Fifth Crusade. One of the major Crusader fortresses, it could support up to 4,000 troops in siege conditions. It became for a short time the headquarters of the Crusaders. In early August 1291, three months after the Siege of Acre, the forces of Al-Ashraf Khalil conquered Atlit, which was at that point the last remaining Crusader outpost in Syria, thus permanently ending Crusader presence in the region.

The fortress remained intact for several hundred years, until suffering damage in the Galilee earthquake of 1837. In the 14th century, it became home to a large concentration of Oirat Mongols. During early Ottoman rule, in the 16th century, it was recorded in tax registers as a port of call and a farm. Later, in the 19th century, it was a small fishing village under the influence of the local al-Madi family.

It was depopulated of its Palestinian inhabitants in 1948. In modern times, the castle is part of the Atlit naval base, a training zone for Israeli Naval commandos.



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Atlit, Israel
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Founded: 1218
Category: Castles and fortifications in Israel

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