Nimrod Fortress is the large, impressive castle that you see high up on a hill on the way up to Mount Hermon. The views from the top across the forests and valleys are just amazing!
This medieval fortress was was named after the mighty hunter and warrior from the bible. It was built at the beginning of the 13th century in a strategic position above a main highway leading from the port of Akko (Acre) to Damascus. At the end of the 13th century, when the Moslem Mamaluks conquered the port of Akko and expelled the Crusaders, it lost its strategic importance.
Nimrod Fortress (sometimes called Nimrod Castle) covers a large area and you should allow an hour or two to view it properly. There's a pathway along the walls which takes you past many varied towers and there are winding staircases between the different levels. You can see where defenders of the castle once shot bows and arrows and crossbows through openings that are wide on the inside but only narrow slits from the outside. A secret passage which was discovered by the Israel Antiquities Authority in 1994 leads downstairs from a hidden door near the main entrance.
Large portions of the castle are still intact and the Israeli film, "Beaufort", was shot here as a substitute for Beaufort Castle in Lebanon.
The park is open to visitors all year round and there's a small entrance fee. You can also get combination tickets to include nearby Banias (Hermon Stream).
For more information on prices and opening hours, phone:
04-694-9277 / *3639 (in Israel) or
972-2-5006261 (from abroad)
Other cool places to visit in the Golan Heights:
Sa'ar Falls - Nature trail with beautiful waterfall in winter and spring.
Gamla Nature Reserve - Historical site with large colony of Griffon vultures.
Banias (Hermon Stream) - Nature trails by the Hermon Stream and archeological site.