Chateau Pèlerin Crusader Castle

Also knows as Pilgrim Castle, Chateau Pèlerin was described by some as crowning example of Crusader military architecture

Atlit, Israel occupied Palestine

Coordinates: 32.705461, 34.934045

Château Pèlerin was a Crusader fortress located near Atlit on the northern coast of Israel occupied Palestine, about 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) south of Haifa.

The Knights Templar began building the fortress in 1218 during the Fifth Crusade.

One of the major Crusader fortresses, it could support up to 4,000 troops in siege conditions.

The castle probably got its name from pilgrims who volunteered their labour during its construction. There is a large Crusader cemetery north of the castle, on the beach, containing hundreds of graves, some with carved grave markers.

Crusader Period

The castle was under the control of the Knights Templar and was never taken in siege due to its excellent location and design and its ability to be resupplied by sea.

It was besieged in 1220 by the Ayyubids, under the command of al-Malik al-Mu’azzam.

It came under siege by the Mamluks under Sultan Baybars in 1265, during which the settlement of Atlit was destroyed.

With the fall of Acre and collapse of the Kingdom of Jerusalem by the Mamluks under Sultan al-Ashraf Khalil, the Knights Templar lost the castle.

Mamluke and Ottoman Period

The castle was not demolished by the Mamluks as was their normal practice after capturing a crusader fortification and remained in good condition until it suffered severe damage during the Galilee earthquake of 1837, and was also further damaged by Ibrahim Pasha in 1840, who used it as a source of stone for Acre.


It remained intact for several hundred years, until suffering damage in the Galilee earthquake of 1837.

In modern times, the castle is part of a training zone for Israel occupied Palestinei Naval commandos.