When you are on your first few days of your tour and driving through the Golan Heights, you may notice something very interesting on a cliffside that looks like it belongs in an epic Middle Ages movie. This would be Nimrod’s Fortress.
The Location of Nimrod’s Fortress
Nimrod’s Fortress is a large and imposing, measuring 420 meters in length and 120 meters in width. It resides in the Golan Heights, and is on cliffs overlooking Banias, also known as Cesarea Philiipi, where Peter declared that Jesus was indeed the Son of God, the messiah (Mark 16:13-20).
The Building of Nimrod’s Fortress
It was built during the Crusader period, in a very fast three year period during the 13th century. It was originally built by Saladin’s nephew Al-Aziz Othman built a large castle on the cliffs. It was called “Kil’at Subeiba” or “Large Cliffs”. In 1129 a treaty granted the castle to the Crusaders who then revamped it into a fortress. They renamed it to “Nimrod’s Fortress” after the biblical character from Genesis 10:8-12 who was “a mighty hunter before the Lord.”.
The fortress was then taken over by the Muslims again in 1132 until 1140 and then the Crusaders took it over again until 1164. Arabs took it over in 1164 and kept control for nearly 100 years.
Many do not realize that the Mongols, largely associated with Genghis Khan advanced into the Levant. The Mongols took over Nimrod’s Fortress for a short time before then losing it to the Mamluks, both occurring in 1260. The Mamluks then controlled the entire area until 1517.
The Destruction of Nimrod’s Fortress
The Ottoman Empire took over in 1517 and Nimrod’s Fortress continued to be used until it was badly damaged in the 18th century and left in ruins.
Nimrod’s Fortress Today
Today Nimrod’s Fortress is a popular park in the Israel Nature and Parks Authority. The Israeli government took over the area after the Six Day War and then began restoring the fortress. You can now explore the same great halls and corridors that warriors did for a thousand years.
Have you been to Nimrod’s Fortress? Would you include this in your Christian Holy Land tour? Contact Immanuel Tours for your no risk quotation and find out how you can plan your tour today! You have full control with Immanuel Tours to plan a tour that will meet all your needs and desires to make your tour a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience!