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Crusader Hall

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Crusader Hall
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View looking at the well–preserved interior remains of part of a hall from the Crusader Period that was part of the Crusader Fortress at Nebi Samwil.

The Crusaders had their first glimpse of Jerusalem from here on July 7, 1099.  Because of this joy, repeated by numerous pilgrims, the site was called Mountjoy.  They established a fortress and resting place here—there are many rock cuttings from this period.

The Muslims reconquered the place after the battle of the Horns of Hattin in 1187—thus ending the Crusader presence at the site.  Evidently the later Crusader, Richard the Lionheart spent a few hours here in 1192 before retreating to the Coastal Plain.

Much of the Crusader Fort was destroyed by the Ayyubid sultan al-Muazzam Isa, who also destroyed the walls of Jerusalem in 1219.  He was afraid that the Crusaders might return and retake these places.