Erich Lessing/Art Resource, NY

Perched on the spur of a hill in the western Galilee, Montfort castle is more isolated than other castles and sits nearly 600 feet above the Kziv River. Despite the protection provided by the steep slopes, Montfort was captured by Saladin in 1187, only to be retaken by the Templars in 1192. In 1227 it was transferred to the Teutonic Knights (the Teutonic Order of Holy Mary in Jerusalem), who used it as an administrative center. It finally fell to Sultan Baybars in 1271. As part of their surrender, the Teutonic Knights arranged for their archive at Montfort to be spared. These documents, now published, are a rich trove of information about the Crusader period.