Photo by Richard Nowitz

From its commanding position in the mountains of northern Israel, the 800-year-old fortress of Qalat Nimrud (also called Subayba) once controlled the strategically vital road that ran from Tyre, on the Mediterranean coast, to Damascus, Syria. Until recently, scholars assumed that Christian Crusaders had built the structure in the 12th century. After re-evaluating the historical record and inscriptions found at the site, however, author Ronnie Ellenblum believes that the fortress was built in the 13th century by Muslims, partly to keep Crusader forces out of Muslim territories to the east.