Friday, May 3, 2013

Belmonte fortress on Tzuba hill

The Belmonte (“The beautiful mountain” in French) fortress is located on road 395 and can be easily accessed from the Tzuba village. To get to the site from the entrance to the village, just continue straight through the village until reaching the dirt road which leads after a short drive (accessible by any car) to the beginning of the blue trail going up the fortress hill.map_tzuba copy The site was first shortly mentioned in the Bible as the home village of Igal ben Nathan, one of King David's Giborim, the 30 warriors who were with David since the period he was a fugitive. Short excavation performed by the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem in 1986 showed that the site was continuously inhabited since the Israelite period and until the Byzantine period. The fortress was built by the Crusaders to control the route between Jaffa and Jerusalem around 1130. Later, the castle was conquered by Salah a-Din in 1187. During the Mamluk period the Arabic village Tzuba was established on the fortress foundations.
The irregular forces of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood were stationed in Tzuba, attacking Israeli traffic on the route to Jerusalem. The village was conquered by the Palmach in July 1948 and the inhabitants fled or were expelled. A group of Palmach veterans established a kibbutz called Misgav Palmach on the one km to the south In October 1948. Later it was renamed Kibbutz Tzuba.
Nowadays the differences in the buildings of the various periods can be seen in the size of the stones, with large rougher-cut stones which fit together without mortar from the Crusaders period and smaller, pebble-like stones held together by mortar from the later Turkish Period. This mixture of periods is part of the magic of this place, which combines the local atmosphere with the feeling of a visit to a European castle. The spectacular, 360 degrees view of the surrounding landscape contributes to the charming beauty of this place, especially during the winter and the spring when the hills are green and blooming.
120121_Tzuva-04120121_Tzuva-02120121_Tzuva-03_copy copy120121_Tzuva-12120121_Tzuva-00120121_Tzuva-23scan-1 copy

No comments:

Post a Comment