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Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The art and architecture of the crusader states
(1977)

IV: Military Architecture in the Crusader States in Palestine and Syria,   pp. 140-164 PDF (8.9 MB)


Page 159

 Ch. IV MILITARY ARCHITECTURE 159 
the outer wall. Lesser walls followed the irregular sea front of the little
peninsula and on its farthest point, at sea level, were grouped some vaulted
halls, with ribbed vaulting supported on pillars and tracery windows, very
pleasant places in the summer heat. The chapel, of which only a few courses
of the wall remain, was a twelve-sided building with a pentagonal apse and
two radiating chapels; its ribbed vaults were supported on a central pillar.
Pococke in 1745 described it as "built in a light Gothic taste."25 Two English
naval officers in 18 17-1818 speak of a cornice "in alto-relievo," with heads
of different animals and a double row of arch arcades on the outside. 26
It must have been a building of some distinction, and is the one known example
in Palestine of a type which was to become familiar in Europe as a Templar
church. The hall of the north great tower, one wall of which is standing,
shows masonry of the same type, ribbed vaults and corbels with human heads
(pl. XXIV). Hall and chapel probably date from some last stage of building,
for the hall is a third story and the original towers are described by Oliver
as composed of two. Here, more than anywhere else, fragmentary as it is,
some idea can be obtained of the Gothic splendor of the midthirteenth century
in Acre and its surrounding strong points. 
 Château Pèlerin was never taken; it was evacuated, the fortifica
tions were dismantled, but the castle, never occupied as a Moslem fortress
at least before the eighteenth century, remained little changed. Badly shaken
by the earthquake of 1837, its destruction was completed by Ibrahim Pasha,
who carried off its stone for the refortification of Acre. 
 The castle of Safad had originally been one of the many sites fortified
by Fulk of Anjou. Taken by Saladin, it had been dismantled and the route
from Damascus and Galilee left unprotected, along with the rich lands lying
around the north of Lake Tiberias (the Sea of Galilee). Ceded to the Franks
by as-Sâlih Ismã'il at the time of the crusade of Theobald of
Champagne (1239-1240), its rebuilding was due to the enthusiasm of a pilgrim,
Benedict of Alignan, bishop of Marseilles. His preaching roused the people
of Acre, and his appeal to the master of the Temple, Armand of Perigord,
persuaded the order to undertake the work.27 In 1240 building was begun:
knights and 
25. R. Pococke, A Description of the East and Some Other Countries, I (London,
1743), 
57. 
26. Ch. L. Irby and J. Mangles, Travels in Egypt and Nubia, Syria andAsia
Minor, during 
the Years 181 7and 1818 (London, 1823), p. 191. 
27. R. B. C. Huygens, "Un Nouveau texte du traité ' De constructione
castri Saphet'," 
Studi medievali, ser. 3, VI-1 (1965), 355-387. 


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