Safed Castle

Safed, Israel

Safed’s Citadel is the highest point of Israel’s highest city, Safed, some near 1,000 meters (3,000+ feet) above sea level, and a historically important site. Overseeing the Sea of Galilee, the mountains of the Upper Galilee including Mt. Meron, and portions of the Golan, the Citadel commands an amazing vantage point for military purposes. But in peacetime it served an important use as well – the early Jewish kingdoms used the mountaintop as a place to signal other far-reaching villages and cities updates on the announcing of the new month. Today it hosts a early war memorial and a park.

Throughout the ages, Safed has been conquered and re-conquered by the early Canaanite Kingdoms, the early Jewish Kingdoms, the Romans, the Crusaders, the Mamlukes and in recent history, the British. In 1948 the fledgling Jewish army captured the Citadel from the local Arab forces as they used it, in its towering location, to bomb the Jewish Quarter down below. The battle that won the Citadel was a miraculous one fought in mud and thorns and so Israel established it as a national memorial and dedication, building a spire monument and a park around it in 1951.

Lately, excavations have been done and sections of the ancient Crusader fortress are now uncovered. The uncovered parts are available for exploration and picnics can be held as well both within the ruins and throughout the wooded park. The view from the Citadel, and the monument in particular, is astounding in beauty and clarity. The layout of the land can be seen from the mountaintop and when looking down, one can see the Safed Artists’ Quarter, famed for its art exhibits and galleries.



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Safed, Israel
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Founded: 12th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Israel

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4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Reuven Bennun (10 months ago)
The Citadel is located in a park with pretty vegetation and a beautiful view; however, it is filthy and there aren't many signs explaining archaeological sites.
Ronen Mars (12 months ago)
Lovely citadel, great view and Safed beauty ?
Efraim Guedalia (14 months ago)
Very nice place. Impressionant view of the region. Remains of the Cruizader forteress and the Mameluk tower. Impressionant.
David Ashley (2 years ago)
If you visit Tzfat (Safed), visiting this monument and reading the history is a must. A very nice local told us how to access the domed area under the monument; part of the old Crusader fortress.
Oren Kessler (2 years ago)
Built upon ancient Jewish and Byzantine ruins, the Crusaders and then the Mamluks rebuilt it during the 12th and 13th centuries, until being totally destroyed by the 1837 earthquake. On the western slope beneath the ruins stands the former British police station, still pockmarked by bullet holes from the 1948 war.
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