Post-classical history

Crusader Castles in the Holy Land 1192–1302

Crusader Castles in the Holy Land 1192–1302

The debacle of the Second Crusade in 1148 caused the Crusader States to realise the necessity of developing a more cautious strategy. The original expansionist spirit largely disappeared, and the Crusader States made priorities of strengthening their existing fortifications and towns and building new castles. These structures encompassed core aspects of Western European military architecture with the integration of rapidly developing Arab and Islamic traditions. Following Fortress 21: 'Crusader Castles in the Holy Land 1097–1192', this book examines the design, development and defensive principles of some of the best-known Crusader fortifications and castles, including Crac des Chevaliers, Castel Blanc, Arsuf, Margat, Atlit, Montfort and Acre.

Introduction

Chronology

Chapter 1. The development of Crusader fortifications

Powerful siege weaponry

Design influences

Urban defences: Ascalon and Acre

Construction methods and 'engigneors'

Chapter 2. The principles of defence

Chapter 3. A tour of five Crusader fortifications

Margat

Crac des Chevaliers

Atlit

Caesarea Maritima

Arsuf

Chapter 4. Life in the Holy Land castles

Castles and social order

Religious centres and the Holy Orders

The Teutonic Knights

Chapter 5. The Crusader States at war

Chapter 6. The fate of the fortifications

Chapter 7. Visiting the fortifications today

Syria

Turkey

Lebanon

Israel and the Palestinian Territories

Further reading

Glossary