Qal’at al-Qurain (Montfort Castle)

Literally meaning Castle of the Little Horn, it was principal Teutonic Order Castle founded in the late 12th century in the port city of Acre

Eilon, Israel Occupied Palestine

Coordinates: 33.044363, 35.226609

Qal’at al-Qurain or Qal’at al-Qarn – (“Castle of the Little Horn” or “Castle of the Horn”) and also knows as Montfort Castle, is a ruined Crusader castle in the Upper Galilee region in northern Israel, about 22 miles (35 km) northeast of the city of Haifa and 10 miles (16 km) south of the border with Lebanon.

The site is now a national park inside the Nahal Kziv nature reserve, and is an important tourist destination attracting many visitors from inside and outside Israel occupied Palestine.


Montfort was the principal castle of Crusader Teutonic Order, which was founded in the late 12th century in the port city of Acre.

Unlike many other Crusader castles, this castle was not originally built for military purposes, but was built to move some of the order’s administration, such as the archives and treasury, from Acre to a more isolated location.

The Teutonic Order had at the time come under pressure from the Templars and the Hospitallers in Acre, who had designs of taking it over.

Siege of 1271 and Mamluk conquest

In 1271, after most of the Crusader strongholds had fallen into Baibars hands, the Mamluk leader himself besieged the castle using several military engineering battalions.

After about three days of siege Baibars troops took the rabad or faubourg, the next day the bashura or outer bailey fell, and on the fifteenth day the German defenders, which were still resisting in the keep, surrendered.

Due to prior negotiations between Baibars and the Crusaders, the latter were allowed to leave the castle with all of their belongings and return to Acre. After the fall of that city in 1291, the Teutonic Knights made Venice their headquarters.

The Mamluks then thoroughly demolished the castle over a period of twelve days.

Know This

Qal’at al-Qurain is free of charge and open to the public 24/7.