Driving through the Golan Heights in northern Israel I glimpsed a huge fortress up in the hills and asked my local guide what it was. He told me that it was a crusader castle named after the biblical character Nimrod.
I think he was wrong. It was actually built by the nephew of Saladin – Al-Aziz Uthman. He was attempting to ensure that the Sixth Crusade would be unable to launch an attack on Damascus by blocking the way.
However, other sources claim it may have been built by the crusaders – though changed hands between Saracens and Franks. One account claims it was smashed up by the Mongols until they were defeated by the Mamelukes. And possibly, when Palestine passed in to Ottoman hands, it may have been used as a prison for nobles who had fallen out with the sultan in Constantinople.
I didn’t get near the castle so forgive these photos taken from a car window in the Hula Valley below. But from what I’ve seen in other photos – it’s well worth a visit.