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Crusader Ghosts in Haunted Castles

Although the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem existed for less than a hundred years, it has marked the entire region forever. When the last knights sailed away, concluding the 200-year long Crusader adventure, their castles were demolished, but their myths live on. Many wars since were declared Holy – a Crusade, or its mirror image, a Jihad. The Eastern campaigns of WW1 and the 2003 invasion of Iraq were promoted as a continuation of the righteous struggle between civilizations. Soldiers on both sides saw themselves as the followers of Richard the Lionheart or Saladin, respectively. But propaganda hides the complexities of co-existence, treaties, trade agreements and a common social structure. Popular culture gives little attention to the animosity among the Crusader kings, the competition of the knights’ Orders or neighbors fighting each other within the walls of Acre. The meeting of East and West changed architecture, art and diet. It invoked international banking and the industrial manufacturing of sugar. Was the collapse of the Crusaders kingdom inevitable? Exciting Crusaders castles adorn the land – dramatic monuments, evoking the heroic mythologies. 

Route: Apolonia Fortress > Caesarea castle > Atlit Fortress observation point from Karta hill > Acre – Knights’ Halls > Templar tunnel > Waterfront wall and port. 

Duration: 8-10 hours

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