Castellum Belveern (Castel): During the Roman occupation of the Holy Land a fortress was built there, known as Castellum, to secure the road to Jerusalem. About 400 years later the Crusaders built a castle Castellum Belveern on the ruins of this former fortress, which still stands today. After the fall of the Crusaders in The Kingdom of Jerusalem, the Castel disappeared from the historical sources for centuries.
During the War of Independence in 1948, Jerusalem ran out of food, water and medicine. To save the besieged, the Palmach launched Operation Nachshon and conquered the village near the hill. When word of the Castel’s fall reached Arab leaders, they ordered Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni to take it back. Thousands answered his call to arms. Equipped with knives, clubs, rifles, guns and explosives, they ascended the hill in waves, and attacked for five days. The Jewish defenders ran out of food and ammunition, and reinforcements failed to arrive.
One night, two guards defending the hill spotted three unidentified figures walking up the slopes and opened fire on them. Two fled, but one of them, al-Huysani, was killed.
Today the entire hill with the fortress ruins and trenches is a memorial site.
By bus, taxi or guided tour.