University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

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 161

 Ch. IV MILITARY ARCHITECTURE 161 
century had as fine walls as any, extended to include the outer suburbs at
the time of Louis IX's visit. Caesarea, Jaffa, fortified by Frederick II
but again ruined, and Sidon were all repaired by the pious king Louis, who
worked with his own hands at the task of building. In 1227 some crusaders,
waiting for the dilatory Hohenstaufen emperor, had occupied themselves in
building the small sea castle on an isolated rock in the port of Sidon; now
on the land side Louis built a citadel in the winter of 1 253-1 254, the
foundations of which, in the old Phoenician acropolis, can still partially
be traced under later Turkish rebuilding. Tiberias still had in 1837 a complete
circuit of walls with round projecting towers, which may well have included
crusading work, but in the great earthquake of that year they were completely
destroyed.31 At Beirut under John I of Ibelin the walls and castle were splendidly
maintained. Wilbrand of Oldenburg (1211) gives us a rare glimpse of the interior
of a seigneurial establishment. The great hall opened on the sea; its mosaic
pavement simulated waves; the vaulted ceiling was painted with the signs
of the zodiac; a fountain in the middle, figured with dragons and other beasts,
cast a jet of water upwards, whose sound "soothed to sleep those who came
to repose themselves."32 
 Most notable of all were the walls and citadel of Jerusalem. To the Franks
the Herodian tower of Phasael with its great courses of masonry was the Tower
of David, and here the kings eventually fixed their palace, building an irregular
courtyard defended by rectangular towers. The Tower of Phasael itself, so
familiar a landmark on medieval maps of Jerusalem and on the seals and coins
of the Latin kings, was dismantled by an-Nãsir Dã'üd of
Kerak in 1239. "The stones were so large that all wondered at them."33 
 With the exception of Saone and Margat nothing has been said as yet of the
fortresses of the principality of Antioch.34 The city itself 
 31. A. and L. de Laborde, Voyage de la Syrie (Paris, 1837), pis. LXI, LXII.
 32. Laurent, Peregrinatores, pp. 166-167. See also, for Beirut, Du Mesnil
du Buisson, "Les Anciennes defenses de Beyrouth," Syria, II (1921), 235-257,
3 17-327, and lithographs in de Laborde, op. cit., pis. XXVII, XX VIII. 
 33. Continuation of William of Tyre, RHC, 0cc., II, 529. See C. N. Johns,
"Excavations at the Citadel, Jerusalem: Interim Report, 1935," Quarterly
of the Department of Antiquities in Palestine, V (1935), 127-131; "The Citadel,
Jerusalem: A Summary of Work since 1934," ibid., XIV (1950), 121-190; and
Guide to the Citadel of Jerusalem (Jerusalem, 1944). 
 34. For the Antiochene castles see C. Cahen, La Syrie du nord a l'époque
des croisades et la principauté franque d'Antioche (Institut français
de Damas, Bibliothèque orientale, vol. I; Paris, 1940), pp. 109-176.
See also Deschamps, La Defense du Comté de Tripoli et de la Principauté
d'Antioche (in press) [J. F.]. 


Go up to Top of Page