This tour centers on the 1187 Battle of Hattin. We begin at the Crusader fortification at La Sephorie, where the Crusader army settled then explore the Horns of Hattin battlefield, and finish the day at the city of Tiberius.
Sephorie: Sepphoris, Zippori also called Diocaesaraea during the Greek occupation or Sephory by the Crusaders in The Kingdom of Jerusalem is a village and an archeological site located in the central Galilee region of the Holy Land, not far from Nazareth.
During the 12th C, the Crusaders built a fort and watchtower at the top of the hill, overlooking Sephory and a church dedicated to Anne. Sephory became one of their bases in The Kingdom of Jerusalem.
In severe heat of July of 1187, the Crusader army, clad in full armor and military gear, without fresh supply of water nor any springs on the way, marched 20 kilometers from their camp at Sephory to be cut off and destroyed at the Battle of Hattin. After their total defeat by Saladin, he renamed the town Saffuriya.
In 1255 the town was back in Crusader hands. A document from that year showed it belonged to the archbishop of Nazareth, but by 1259 Sephory was back in Muslim hands. In1266 the town was finally taken by the Muslim warlord Baibars.
Today the site holds a rich and diverse historical and architectural legacy including Hellenistic, Jewish, Roman – Byzantine, Muslim and Crusader remains. It is believed by Christians to be the birthplace of Mary, mother of Yeshua, and the village where Anna and Joachim have resided.
The site includes a Roman theater, two churches, a Crusader fort, renovated by Dahar al-Umar in the 18th century, and over sixty different mosaic floors dating from the 3rd to the 6th C CE.
After the Bar Kochba revolt of 132–135, Zippori was one of the centers in Galilee to where rabbinical families relocated. Beautiful remains of a magnificent synagogue dated to 5th C were discovered in the town. In 638 CE, the town was conquered by the Muslims with the rest of Holy land.